I’ve decided our church is on Year A readings, not Year C like everyone else. Our gospel reading today was John 11:1-45, the Raising of Lazarus.
3 The sisters Mary and Martha sent Jesus a message: “Lord, your close friend Lazarus is ill.” 4 When Jesus heard this, he replied, “The illness of Lazarus isn’t the end of him. It’s really for the glory of God! And, through this illness, God’s Son will receive glory.” 5 Now, Jesus really liked Martha, her sister Mary, and brother Lazarus. 6 But, when he heard Lazarus was ill, Jesus stayed where he was. 7 Two days later, Jesus finally told his followers, “Let’s go to Judea.”
17 When Jesus arrived at Bethany in Judea, Martha and Mary’s hometown, he found out Lazarus was dead. He had been buried four days before.
20 Martha heard Jesus had come to town. So, she went to met him, while her sister Mary remained at home. 21 “Lord!” Martha exclaimed. “If you would have been here earlier, my brother wouldn’t have died! 22 But even now I know whatever you ask God to do, he will do it!”
23 “Your brother will rise again,” Jesus replied.
24 “Yes,” Martha said. “I know he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
25 “I am the resurrection and the life!” Jesus exclaimed. “The person who trusts me will live with God, even though his body dies. 26 Everyone who trusts me and lives with God will never really die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” Martha answered. “I really believe you are the Messiah, the Son of God! God sent you into the world for us.”
33b Jesus was deeply touched. 34 “Where did you bury Lazarus?” he asked the people around him.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 35 At this, Jesus cried. 36 “See how much Lazarus meant to Jesus,” they whispered to each other. 27 But others grumbled, “Jesus cured the blind man in Jerusalem. Why couldn’t he keep Lazarus from dying?”
38 The tomb where Lazarus was buried was a cave with a large stone over the entrance. When Jesus came to the tomb, he again was deeply touched. 39 “Take the stone away!” Jesus commanded.
“But, Lord!” Martha objected. “We buried him four days ago. He will have the stench of death!”
40 “Didn’t I tell you if you trusted me you would see the glory of God?” Jesus replied. 41 So, they took the stone away from the tomb entrance. Jesus looked up and prayed, “Father, thank you for listening to me, as you always do. 42 I say this prayer, so the people here might believe you sent me.” 43 Then, Jesus screamed, “Lazarus! Come out here!” 44 Lazarus came out of the tomb with his hands and feet tied in burial bandages, and with his face covered with a cloth shroud. “Untie him,” Jesus commanded.
45 Many of the people who came to Mary’s house saw what Jesus did. And they put their trust in him.
Sometimes a tree may look dead,
but when the spring comes, what looks like a dead tree, comes back to life.
When we live the example Jesus wants of us, we too can come alive for him.