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    Pastor's Weekly Note - 6/5/2024
  • June 5, 2024

    Dear friends in Christ,

    If you follow the Christ Lutheran Facebook page, you know that I am currently reading through the Gospel of John and sharing little tidbits each day about that journey. While every part of the Gospel of John is worthy of significant reflection, Chapter 11 provides a narrative experience that gets to the heart of the Good News.

    The Gospel of John has 21 total chapters. Chapter 11, then, sits very near the center of the Book. As we enter into the chapter, we quickly perceive that Jesus is planning to do something extraordinary. He is with His disciples when word comes that His good friend, Lazarus, is sick. Jesus obviously knows that He has the ability to heal Lazarus in person or even from a distance. But instead of doing that, He tells His disciples that He is not going to travel to Lazarus’ home. Instead He tells them this: “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4) He remained where He was for two more days, and then He began His travels to Lazarus’ home . . . which was very confusing to those who were following Him!

    “On His arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.” (John 11:17) This didn’t set too well with Lazarus’ sisters, Martha and Mary, who both said at separate times, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21, 32) Jesus feels their emotion deeply, as well as others who were with them in mourning, resulting in the shortest verse of the Bible: “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)

    But then Jesus does what He had been planning to do all along. He makes good on His promise in verse 4 (“This sickness will not end in death.”), and He raises Lazarus from the dead. ““Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”” (John 11:43-44)

    Right at the center of the Gospel of John we encounter Jesus asserting His power over death and the grave. He hadn’t even yet been crucified and buried and risen Himself! But Jesus wants all of us to know that death is foreign to God’s plan, and that even death will not end in death! And when you and I face it in our own lives, also know that Jesus is right there weeping with us.

    In Christ,
    Pastor John

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