Jesus used the phrase "the hour is coming, and is now here" when he was chatting with the Samaritan woman at the well (in last Saturday's D.O reading and this coming Sunday's reading too!), and we hear that phrase (and a portion of it) twice today. This is a phrase peculiar to John, although the Synoptic Gospels have a similar theme. Jesus is announcing the kingdom of God, by his very presence with the usage of this phrase.
John uses metaphor throughout this passage (and this Gospel). And the imagery within the verse "the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live" is replete with symbolism fit for reflection during this Season of Lent. How can we live into this Gospel today? How can we show that we have passed from death to life because of our faith, our belief in Jesus' presence in our lives? Can we bring others who "are dead" and help them pass "into life" with us? What would that look like in the humdrumedness of what is many of our days?
Jesus is pushing his disciples, and us, to recognize that the kingdom is all around us, waiting to be recognized, lived into.... and made real.... now. This kingdom, which is based in and filled by God's love for us, is something palpably available, tangibly real.....now. Jesus is telling us that the time is now here for us to make real this different way of living and being in the world. We will stick out like sore thumbs on a manicured hand if we live into this kingdom....but that manicured hand cannot properly function without us sore thumbs to grasp and change our world.
Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.