This weeks devotional is by Pastor Jeff
This week’s sermon took us to John chapter 11 and the account of Jesus interacting with Mary and Martha in their grief and confusion over the death of their brother Lazarus… whom Jesus loved. You can link here if you want to watch that sermon, but the main focus on our time in that text was considering the question, “What do we do when we are in the middle of waiting for Jesus and wondering what in the world is going on?
The story itself leads us to all kinds of truth about the heart of Jesus culminating in two big realities. One: Jesus promises that glory and resurrection will come out of this… at some point. He gives hope to the sisters that he is “the resurrection and the life.” We know that he doesn’t always bring resurrection or healing or miraculous intervention to every instance of human suffering, although in this case he does raise Lazarus from the dead. It’s like Lazarus is a sign that Jesus really does have “victory over death.” And from that we can take courage that one day, perhaps even today, Jesus will show up in our struggles and grief and suffering and will overcome it all with glory. It might not be this side of heaven, but we can take courage that he will ultimately bring life.
The second reality gleaned from the text: Jesus weeps with his followers as they wait for the fullness of God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. He is brokenhearted over the whole picture of human brokenness and sinfulness. Death, sickness, grief, struggle, waiting, etc. are all part of the human experience that come from the fall of humanity and won’t be a part of the resurrection. No, things are not as the SHOULD be, nor how they will be one day. And Jesus literally weeps over that with us. He weeps we have to live in the ache of a broken humanity, while longing for Life that has not yet come in it’s fullness.
So friends, while we wait for God and weep, please know that this is not lost on Jesus. He is deeply moved. He is troubled as well; for things are not as they should be. And so he weeps with us.
In the meantime, we came to church again last Sunday carrying the angst of having heard the lamentable news of two more mass shootings over the weekend. And so In the spirit of our common experience of struggling with what is Not Yet we began our worship time on Sunday praying over that situation and inviting Jesus to meet all of us in the midst of this brokenness.
I thought that Pastor Ben’s extemporaneous prayer over us was a God-gift to us. It ministered to me, and it helped me know how to pray as I walk in the grief and anger that I feel.
Grace and Peace to you all.