Lazarus’ was summoned out of his tomb, from death to life.
It’s the kind of summoning we want when one of our loved ones dies.
It’s the summoning to life that we want whenever we face death. . .a death of any kind.
We want to be summoned to life whenever we face the reality that we WILL die. . ,Whenever we comprehend the truth that we are not immortal.
If you were on Facebook yesterday, you might have seen Anne Lamott’s post describing how she feels as she turns 60. She describes the typical memory complaints and body aches and then said, “This business of being a human being is infinitely more fraught than I was led to believe. When my son Sam figured out at 7 years old that he and I were not going to die at the exact same moment, he said, "If I had known that, I wouldn't have agreed to be born."
Have you ever said, “I’m not getting another dog, cat, or pet because they will die before me and I’m not going thru that again!?”
We are all waiting to die,
even when we don’t think about it like that. We couldn’t think like that all the time. But when something happens that opens our eyes to our mortality, we long for something more.
A friend of mine recently learned he has 2 years to live.
It has put much of life in perspective. --Meetings must reach a new level of importance to justify his time. --Planning to retire to a home in the hills has become, planning vacations in that home..right now.
And life is full of doubt and longing... Longing for something more.
Lazarus’ sisters longed. They longed for their brother even as they believed in some future resurrection from the dead. (Much like Christian belief in a resurrection at the end of days.)
The thought of new life NOW wasn’t even a doubt. It didn’t occur to them that Lazarus could be given back to them. . .or did it occur to Martha? Could she somehow glimpse the possibility of life that God thru Christ can bring into the dark moments of death? When she (Martha) said, “even now, I know that whatever you ask, God will give you.”
There is so much trust in her NOT asking Jesus to do something now, but affirming the creative power that exists in God’s realm.
Divine Creativity is all around us, look as you leave here today.
Those dead looking branches and brown corners are filled with yellow daffodils and green buds. Does not all creation speak to life that comes from death?
But can we believe it can happen to us?
Could you trust in what would/could happen when God touches the things you’ve buried?
All of scripture is a repeat of the story of buried life / dead hope - brought to life by God. It’s what God does, resurrect. Not a return to the same life (that’s only what Lazarus got) but an all new God-breathed life.
Are you ready for ... God-breathed LIFE?
. . .
We tend to take this story apart in some way.
Either we try to imagine what semi-conscious state Lazarus was really in.. OR
We think that the faith needed for this kind of ‘sign’ is up to us, that those who have more faith in what God can do, can make it happen.. . But then who would be creating life..? US?
Jesus doesn’t ask if we believe he can bring Lazarus back to life.
He asks if Martha believes.. IN HIM.
(Does she/ Do we really know him? Do we SEE him?)
We’re not talking about a conscious understanding of the nature of Christ or belief in a theological treatise on the incarnation.
We are talking about trust and acceptance - of all that we are given - that IS LIFE.
HUMAN Life that includes all too brief glimpses of the divine. (when we are paying attention)
It is Life LIVED as if death doesn’t matter because death can’t stop when God wills life.
My Lenten journey/ my life journey is to find - How I can live this story. How to live a human Life without clinging onto ‘my’ life.
How do we LIVE, while never losing sight of the one who IS LIFE?
Spend time with Jesus. Get to know him. Believe what he says. For,
When we catch a glimpse of the spark of life he brings,
when we feel that divine touch marking a cross on our forehead, THEN the cords wound around feet and burial clothes that BIND us, come untied.
and Then we are truly set free.
1 Anne Lamott (link to her facebook)
2 Betsy revgalblogpals edited