March 29, 2020
Lent 5A
John 11:1-45
(See Below)

 

 

Mary and Martha echo the words that belong to all of humanity, words that one time or another have belonged to each of us, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

 

It’s part of our human nature; we want God to rescue us, and our loved ones, from the pain and suffering of this world.  That’s why we are attracted to the idea of a God who “intervenes” when prayer is done right, to the notion that the bible is some kind of book filled with charmed formulas that can be “claimed” and exercised, that faith somehow opens us up to a world of supernatural magic.

 

In this week’s Gospel Jesus resists the temptation to be such a savior.  Upon hearing the news that Lazarus is ill, he does not drop everything and run to his aid, he does not come quickly to rescue Mary and Martha from their heartache, instead he waits two days and then begins a journey arriving four days too late.  Jesus does not “steal us away” from the pain of life, instead he chooses to walk with us through those moments. So it is that he is present in our graveyards, sharing tears and broken hearts, mourning right beside us. (John 13:35)

 

The season of Lent is almost over, soon we will be entering Holy Week and the events of Good Friday.  As we enter into this sacred time, we are reminded that to follow Jesus is to trust and live into a death that leads to resurrection.  That is the pattern of faith, that is the pattern that leads to transformation, that is the pattern that makes all things new on Easter morning.  Magic cannot do this for us.  To truly live and love, to know peace and be shaped by grace, to be healed and made new, demands that hearts break and hands that bleed.  And it demands a savior who will share those moments with us, a God who will descend into our depths, Christ fleshed out all around us in the community of faith.

 

After Jesus weeps, after he holds Mary and Martha in his arms, after death seems to have had the last word; Christ speaks a word of life and suddenly Lazarus rises up from the grave. God grant us the faith and courage to make the journey through the pain and suffering, all the way to the grave, that we too might know the resurrection unto life abundant and everlasting.

 

      1. Don't Rescue Me

 

Don’t rescue me
I need somebody who will let me bleed
Don’t rescue me

 

I need someone who can do tough love
I need someone who can push and shove
Don’t need no one to hold my hand
I need some one who can kick me in the …

 

Don’t rescue me
I need somebody who will let me bleed
Don’t rescue me

 

I need love with an attitude
I need peace that’s on the move
I need hope for a brand new day
I need to get up, get up and get on my way

 

Don’t rescue me
I need somebody who will let me bleed
Don’t rescue me

 

I’ve been held before, and it was right
But right now I need someone
Who’ll teach me how to fight

 

Don’t rescue me
I need somebody who will let me bleed (last time tag: set me free)
Don’t rescue me

 

I need someone who can capture a dream
I need someone who’s not afraid to scream
I need someone who can use a knife
Cut through the scars, open the wounds of my life

 

Don’t rescue me
I need somebody who will let me bleed (last time tag: set me free)
Don’t rescue me

 

 

 

If you like this devotion please share it with others via the Facebook button at the bottom of this page!  This week’s song, albums, and other songs by Greg, are available on Bandcamp!  Get the music free!  Greg’s music is listed for “name your own price.”  Just choose $0, and download the song or album.

https://gregronning.bandcamp.com/album/charity

John 11:1-45

1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, 6 after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. 10 But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” 11 After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” 13 Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” 17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” 28 When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34 He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus began to weep. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” 38 Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” 45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

 

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