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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Today’s Reading | John 11:1–27

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” (NRSV)


Reflection

There’s a moment each morning, in the darkness, when I wake up to my iPhone buzzing and realize that it’s time to begin another day. I’d like to think most days I wake up feeling grateful for more time on this earth, but sometimes I wake up and just feel tired.

Lately, everyday-living feels like a rat race:

Hit the gym. Head to work. Tend to emails. Put in work. Take a lunch. Take a call. Hold a meeting. Leave the office. Make dinner. Clean the dishes. Clean the house. Go to bed.

I’m awake but I’m not fully living.

Although today’s passage focuses on God’s promise to raise Lazarus from the dead, what really stuck with me was his response to the disciples when they questioned his decision to go back to Judea. Jesus said, “Whoever walks in the day doesn’t stumble because they see the light of the world. But whoever walks in the night does stumble because the light isn’t in them.”

When I’m awash in worry and stress, I’m pretty prone to stumble. Self-centered living is living in darkness. Christ-centered living is living in the light.

Jesus wanted his disciples, and wants us, to live in the light.

When I put my faith in him, life is anything but exhausting. It is energizing, it is joyous:

Give thanks. Give your all. Break bread. Stop and breathe. Say a prayer. Love your neighbor. Love your family. Praise God. Trust in God.

Prayer

Father in heaven, wake me up to your light, the wonder of your world. Help me reorient my living so I might find joy in each and every moment in this world. Amen.

 

Written by Erin Strybis, Associate Director of Development Communications


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