John 11:1-7, 17-29, 32-45 (click for full reading)
“Yes Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
(Click on the title above to listen to the sermon)
I set out last week to write a sermon about crying. Being a crier, this made sense for me, and I was actually looking forward to it. And while that is maybe where my sermon began, it isn’t where it ended. Today’s text is the same. Instead of ending with tears, the story of Lazarus ends with new life, with Resurrection.
Jesus cries with Mary and Martha, but then he does more.
Jesus said “I am the Resurrection AND the life.”
That’s a little word with big implications. Because AND means that there is life in the future AND now. That resurrection isn’t just about life in heaven but life right now. This is HUGE.
When that woman at the well encountered Jesus two weeks ago, she wasn’t just forgiven, but she was resurrected to new life.
When the blind man was given his sight last week, he was resurrected to new life. Not a life in the future, but life right then.
When Lazarus was raised from the dead, literally resurrected to new life, do you think he went back to the way things were? Do you think any of them could? No! They ran into town, rejoiced, and shared what new life in Christ has done for them.
We too have been given the resurrection and the life just like the woman, and the blind man and Lazarus. Yes, there is resurrection in the future, but Jesus raises us to new life today.
So then the question remains:
What about us? Can we go back to the way things were?
Questions to ponder/discuss:
1. What are some ways you can show empathy instead of sympathy?
2. What does resurrection mean to you?
3. How have you been given new life?
4. What do you do with your new life?
We Lutherans aren’t real comfortable sharing our faith – but it’s an important aspect of our call to follow Christ. This week, take some time and share how you have been given new life in Christ with someone you know.
Click HERE to see the “Power of Empathy” video Natalia used