Two Suicides in the City and John’s Gospel
Had I actually been slightly early, as planned, for morning Bible study yesterday, I might have witnessed a man falling to his death from the 24th floor of the Willis Building in the Square Mile. He landed right along the short cut I like to take between The Office and St Helen’s Church, Bishopsgate, at approximately 6.47 a.m.. This was the second publicised suicide in a week in The City, the first being a woman who jumped from the Coq D’Argent at 1 Poultry.
The latest death was the twitter of town. I heard about it several times over the course of the day, including over brunch and coffee at Konditor & Cook (bottom of The Gherkin, 30 St. Mary Axe),
and when the reinsurance broker I was meeting for lunch round the corner at Mother Mash (107 – 112 Leadenhall Street) was 4 minutes late because the shortcut had been cordoned off.
What a grievous thing to be so lacking in hope and joy, one would suspect, that a messy death is the only option available.
The world has been deceived into thinking that our joy can only come from things, from relationships, from our standing with others, from our value in the society. When these prove empty, we are lost and broken and see no reason to go on living. But we have fallen for a terrible trick, because real joy, true joy, can only be found in loving relationship with God the Father, through Jesus his Son.
There is nothing mystical about this. God made everything in this world, including us humans. Jesus was with God in the beginning and all things were made through him (John 1:2). In fact, Jesus is God (John 1:1) and all that the Father has is his (John 16:15). So those who rightly and properly:
- are convicted that they have sinned by not believing that Jesus came from God (John 16:9);
- understand the true righteousness that is Jesus (John 16: 10);
- realise that the ruler of this world will be judged (John 16:11); and so
- believe that Jesus came from God the Father into the world and love him,
will be loved by the Father himself (John 16:26). And what more intimate and secure relationship can there be than an open, loving relationship with our Creator? It is no surprise that only in a relationship of full dependence on him who made joy, will our joy be full (John 16:24).