Sunday, March 18, 2018

Image result for The resurrection of Lazarus -non traditional

This Sunday we will have worship at 9:00 am in the Sanctuary, the education hour for both youth and adults at 10:00 am, and worship in the Bridge at 11:00 am.  Austin will be preaching on Sunday.

This Week’s Scripture Passage:

John 11:17-44 

17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus[a] had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles[b] 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.[c] 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,[d] 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.”

Something to Ponder:

The sociological context for a family death has not changed much, but it is important to note the significant differences. If we ask ourselves, who is responsible for the family income in a modern context the answer is a mixed bag.  Some families it is one spouse, others it is shared between them, and in other homes children bring in money to help pay for the daily expenses as well.  For a couple of first century Jewish sisters, Mary and Martha, the death of their older brother would have been the worst situation possible.  With neither of them married, and no patriarch to facilitate a marriage they would have been sent to the bottom rungs of society.  Does this change our understanding of the story?  If so how?

 Prayer for the day~
Oh God, who always listens to us, who breathes new life into us, call us forward to resurrection.   We are spellbound by those dry bones, petrified by the stink of death, and too dumbfounded to call forth life in your name. we pray for your chosen people, your church.  we pray for the courage not just to follow you to death, but to follow you to the new creation. ~Amen

Music to help you prepare for worship :

Videos to help you prepare for worship:

Going Beyond the Text:

Many theologians agree that Martha’s message to Jesus is one of the first theological statements of the resurrection.  “Yes, Lord, I have believed that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is come into the world.” Mary’s response however, is a more emotional response.  Now, there are many different speculations about these two interactions.  But I would like to posit for one moment, that this is a microcosm of the Pastoral Care experience.  Some people in their grief wish to speak theology and seek assurance.  Others seek someone to simply sit there with them deep in the pits of sorrow.  Jesus is an example for our ministry.  We must always be ready for when we are called to be a theologian, and when we are called to be a friend.

Take Home Ideas for Kids:

Have you ever had a friend die?  Maybe a family member or a pet? Jesus teaches us in this story that he is the resurrection and the life.  We know that when the people we love die, they are going to meet Jesus.  What kinds of things do you think Jesus does to welcome people?  How would you want to be welcome?