Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Psalm 116.1-9, Job 33.14-34.9, John 11.1-16 - Lectionary for 3/2/11

Today's readings are Psalm 116.1-9, Job 33.14-34.9, and John 11.1-16.

Our readings today deal with despair, hopelessness, even finally death. Recently with some students I was observing a feature of this passage in John 11.  Jesus says that Lazarus is sleeping. It strikes me that the Bible compares sleep and death in the ways it does. Try as we might, we can't evade either. We may be able to stay awake for a day or two, maybe even a bit longer. But we will eventually fall asleep and there is nothing at all we can do about it. Likewise, we live only so long and then, no matter what we do, we die. In sleep and in death we lose control of ourselves. We are not able to tell time as we sleep, we can't make ourselves stay in one place or position, we can't control our thoughts or attitudes in our sleep. And in death we no longer have any control of ourselves, all of our own ability is wiped out.

The great good news of the Bible is that death is also like sleep in that we will be awakened one day. Our Lord and Savior will come to awaken us, as he promised in the case of Lazarus (John 11.11). And when we are awakened we will rise refreshed, ready, changed, thoroughly prepared for all the Lord would do with us, taking us to our eternal home. 

Arise, Lord, and awaken your people to life.  Amen.

Dave Spotts
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