April 6th, Fifth Sunday of Lent

Raising Up to New Life

“Lazarus, come out!”  John 11:43

The story of the raising of Lazarus is filled with high drama. Jesus’ arrival, Martha’s faith, Mary’s grief, Jesus’ tears, Jesus’ prayer, the calling forth, Lazarus stumbling out of the tomb still wrapped in his shroud. Ironically, the raising of Lazarus convinces the religious authorities to put Jesus down. Permanently.

The story demonstrates Jesus’ humanity. He weeps over the death of his friend. “He is one of us,” we say. But the story also demonstrates Jesus’ power to bring dead things back to life. “He is too far beyond us,” we might think. But the power that raised Lazarus 2,000 years ago is available for us today. What dead things in our life does Jesus want to raise up this Lent? Perhaps it is hope, joy, faith, compassion or a broken relationship. And there’s more to this story. We share Jesus’ life giving power every time we reach out in love to someone in need. Look around. Raise someone up today.

Jesus, you who raised Lazarus and were yourself raised from the dead, keep calling us forth to new life this Lent.

Read: Ezekiel 17: 12-14, Psalm 130: 1-8, Romans 8:8-11, John 11: 1-45

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