Saturday, March 8, 2008

"Unbind him, and let him go."

Our Gospel for tomorrow is John 11:1-45:

Lazarus was dead. It was a known fact. News of his death was not greatly exaggerated. People had come to Bethany from Jerusalem, a distance of about two miles, to console the grieving sisters, Mary and Martha. Jesus and his disciples had come upon the scene just as the mourning had gotten into high gear.

Mary and Martha had come through the stage of denial and now they were at the anger stage. "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." How could you, Jesus? I thought you loved Lazarus. Why did you not come running when I sent word that he was ill? You could have done something. Why?

But Jesus could still do something, and at great risk to himself. Jesus risked his life to reveal his divinity. Only God could bring someone back from the dead. Jesus used this opportunity to bring glory to God, but Jesus also wept. It's human nature to weep at the death of a beloved friend, but maybe, just maybe . . . Jesus wept because he was bringing someone back from paradise. Jesus would be going back there a few days hence. I wonder if the thought of that made him weep. I wonder if he missed the Paradise of God during his time on earth.

So Jesus called Lazarus back from the dead, but he left it up to the people who witnessed this miracle to "unbind him, and let him go." Are there people in our lives that we have locked into categories? Unbind them, and let them go. Give them a fresh go at life. It could be almost as good as Lazarus' second chance.

In peace,

The Rev. Linda McCloud
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

Photo: "The Palestine of Jesus" class
from St. George's College, Jerusalem
visits Lazarus' tomb in Bethany
August 2004

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