Sharing the Harvest Devotion 11.13.18

Lazarus

The story of Jesus summoning Lazarus from the tomb is an assigned lectionary reading for this month.  [See the Gospel of John chapter 11.]  It’s a beautiful story.  Mary, Martha, and Lazarus are three siblings.  They live in Bethany.  They are friends with Jesus.  You may remember the story of Mary and Martha.  Well, as the story goes, Lazarus is sick.  Mary and Martha have sent for Jesus.  Jesus delays in coming to Bethany.  By the time Jesus gets to Bethany, Lazarus has died and been put in the tomb.  And the sisters are consumed by grief.  It has been four days since Lazarus died.  It was thought that it took three days for the spirit to leave the body.  So maybe there was a possibility that Lazarus could be restored to life within those three days.  But after four days there is no hope.

As the story relates, Jesus calls Lazarus out of the tomb and he appears wrapped with grave clothes.  The impression is that he was really dead.  And now he is really alive.  

I am wondering about what hopes and dreams and desires we put in a tomb.  What kind of things do we let die?  What do we give up on?  What do we abandon?  What do we lock away never to be revisited?   Our faith teaches us to be peace makers.  Have we given up on nuclear disarmament?  On gun sense laws?  Our faith teaches us to value economic arrangements that are just.  Have we given up on economic justice?  Our faith teaches us to cherish the environment.  When we hear about the trends with global warming, do we simply ignore the statistics because we have given up on mitigation?  Our faith teaches to pursue forgiveness.   Have we given up on mending a relationship?  Our faith teaches us to be servants.  Have we given up on being able to make a difference?  Our faith invites us to health and wholeness.  Can we change our habits and face our addictions and dis-eases?  

The story of Lazarus reminds us of the persistence and resilience of the hopes and dreams of our faith.  Maybe they have been shut away but they can be restored.  What dreams have you given up on?  Divine Love can breathe new life into our dreams.

I am grateful that we are part of a religious tradition of hope and promise.  No situation is beyond redemption.  Restoration and healing are always possible.  

 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16   

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