Scripture: John 11: 1-16
Key verse: (6) “. . . after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.”
Reflection: One thing I learned early in pastoral ministry was: don’t wait, respond. Of course, there are times when a person or family want you to wait. They need the time and space to deal with the challenge they are facing before they let anyone else in. It’s important to respect privacy as a helping professional, but reaching out to a good friend has a completely different set of boundaries. If the people you are close to are ill or need your help, you go. It’s best not to wait. But, Jesus decided to wait even though he received a message that Lazarus was very ill. They were dear friends, but he didn’t go right away. Jesus declared that Lazarus’ illness was for God’s glory — so, don’t worry. Was he hard-hearted? No, there is a bigger lesson Jesus is teaching here — much bigger than caring for a friend. Something miraculous and life-changing was about to happen. This story sets the stage for Jesus’ own death and resurrection. He links Lazarus’ death with his own. Before he left for Judea, he said very plainly: “Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.” How odd this must have sounded to the disciples. Jesus also said: “Let us go, that we may die with him.” It would be much later that these words would resonate deeply in the disciples lives — and ours.
Prayer: Risen Lord, we give thanks that through your death and resurrection we experience the gift of new life. Help us to live lives worthy of your calling. May we die to self and the old ways of being in the world that through your cross we might be raised to new life found in you. For it is in your holy name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].