March 29

Sunday, March 29, 2020

John 11:28-45

Jesus just won’t leave us in the place of death. As I read the note from my cousin … and reread it yet again … I got that she was sharing something about life that is greater than death. Even the way she made the little photo album still stands as a statement of her faith. Life is what fills its pages. Death is given a place, but it isn’t the last word. The last word in the series of photos is hope.

I keep that little album in my desk in my study at home. It is beneath my hand as I write almost every sermon … even as I write this devotional. Somehow in the midst of death, life continues to burst forth.

Jesus feels the sorrow. He sees the weeping. He stands before the tomb and cries. He calls out … he commands Lazarus to come out. Out of the shadows. Out of death. Into life! And he calls us. Yet the grief is still there. It was magnified ten times over … no, a hundred times over … when we lost Jeff three years ago. Still Jesus is calling. Death is real, but it is no more real than life. It is certainly no more real than resurrection … keep moving forward.

So we face death. Every. Single. Day. It takes courage to face death, but what I have discovered is that the greatest demand on my courage isn’t the courage to die … it is the courage to live.

Listen. Do you hear it? Jesus is calling us forth in life! He is calling forth the courage to embrace our grief … to grasp that life is never the same. It isn’t going back. It is going forward.

Life beyond death … resurrection … is the gift for which we hope!

Christ, we hear you crying. We hear you calling. Give us the courage to live beyond death to the place of life. Amen.

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