The power of death has been defeated

From the Rector:

 

“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died,” says Mary, the sister of Lazarus. Can you imagine the piercing power of these words to the heart of Jesus—who was a dear friend to Lazarus and Mary and Martha? John tells us that Jesus wept in this moment. The power of death is a real thing in our lives and, it’s power is not final; indeed, the power of death has been defeated. The central question, I suppose, is: Do we believe this? Evenmore, how do our lives proclaim this belief? Jesus asks Martha if she trusts in the resurrection, to which she says, “Yes.” But Jesus presses her and says, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Which is a way of saying that the resurrection is here, among us, now in addition to the promise of life to come. You see, we allow death to have its way and a say before it should. We understand the power of death as a given fact in this life, an inevitability that truncates the power of the Kingdom of God, the presence of God, in our midst. We tend to allow death to have more power than resurrection. We hear the news and allow despair to triumph, not courage. We feel slighted and wronged and allow the relationship to fester and die. We see the change we must take but choose the easier path and find that we are bored, indifferent, and wonder why. All of this is not to deny the pain of grief or sadness or even fear that is real for all of us. We must not run away or hide from or try to cover up such realities. Rather, this is a reminder to us all that God's love wins, that there is a God who holds all things in embrace, that the power of new life is possible and that resurrection, here and now, is made real through the grace of God. As preacher and professor, Karoline Lewis writes, “The whole story of the raising of Lazarus is for us to realize that resurrection is not just our future promise but our present reality.” This promise is for you and for us and for our living together. We do not need hope to live the resurrected life—we need courage. And courage takes heart, and practice, daily, in choosing to believe and live into the promises of God.

This Sunday, I encourage you to join the cloud of witness that we celebrate this All Saints’ Sunday. You are one of them, as those God is calling into deeper relationship and life. At 9am at the Adult Forum we will hear from the Rev. Don Marxhausen, who has been leading us through the broad brush-strokes of the scriptures—reminding us that God speaks these stories to our hearts. It’s what I call, Story-time with Uncle Don. You won’t want to miss it. Also, at 9am on Sunday in the parish offices, we’ll have an informational meeting about the possible trip to Haiti in January—any interested people are welcome! At our services we’ll pray for those who have died and now know the promises of God more fully, as well as welcome new members into the life of our parish. Finally, we have a Newcomer’s Luncheon in the Library after the 10am. If you’ve been visiting with us or feel like you want to know more about St. Tim’s, please join us! It’s a full Sunday—full of the love and life God promises us in Christ. 

See you Sunday,

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