Sunday, March 29th, 2020
The Raising of Lazarus from the Dead: John 11:1-45
I was thinking, if I had known I would be writing this sermon, I would not have included parts of this passage, in my original Easter message. The thought was; Bishop Andrew would preach on this passage at the combined service, which will not happen, (but at this point he is talking about a video to be sent to us at that time so more to come on this.)
So I will not begin with; “unbind him a let him go,” or “Lazarus, come out.”
Instead I am beginning by asking the question; what is the shortest verse in the bible?
It is John 11:35 Jesus wept, or Jesus began to weep.
Jesus weeping shows that Lazarus’ death is real and Jesus feels the pain of the death.
The message seems to be; Death is real, the pain is genuine, but this is not the end of the story.
This would suggest; what we are experiencing is real, but this too is not the end, even though there is speculation but no one knows when it will end.
The question or complaint from Martha and Mary is a good one; “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Other than for the ending and raising Lazarus from the dead, why would Jesus not come sooner and not have to weep when his friend died?
And why the situation we are in today? I don’t have answers and it would be extremely arrogant to think that I would, so why would this happen? Maybe there are things we need to learn and realize. This would not be the answer to the who thing as if God made it happen for this, but given the situation what can be made of this?
Some thoughts: The sacrifices made to keep others safe, and keeping our distance from one another is as discipline and for us to be conscious of the needs of others in ways we have taken for granted for so long. And making the effort to connect with others and keep in touch.
This may cause us to reflect and look deeper at ourselves. One of the by-products for me is a sense of vulnerability and having to face weakness and need for others in a more in your face way.
My lack of computer skills is not as all consuming at other times, but the need for technology to communicate and keep it touch in other ways other than phone and e-mail is an exercise in humility.
Then again, we cannot expect our faith to protect us from bad things which might affect others, yet in Matthew5:45 we read: so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.
I know this passage is in the context of calling for loving your enemies, but the point is also that we cannot expect sun on us and not others and rain on others and not us.
I said I would not begin with: “unbind him a let him go,” or “Lazarus, come out.” But and some point someone will say about us: “unbind them and let them go,” and to us: “Come out.”
Your may have other thoughts about this, and you can e-mail me if you would like,