WEEK 4: MARCH 20-26
Raised for Hope
Jesus seems to have arrived too late to help his friend Lazarus and the despair of the witnesses is palpable in this story from the Gospel of John. In a state of hopelessness, Jesus brings the hope of Resurrection, the hope of eternal life, of that which can never be taken away. How does the hope of Resurrection encourage you? This week hear from some of our members who have found hope that surpasses illness, difficult circumstances, and hope that drastically changes who we are as Christians.
By Lynn Harper
Read John 11:17-27
I am an only child and therefore don’t have the joy of having siblings, but I do have two daughters and a son, so I have seen and experienced sibling rivalry and sibling love up close and personal. Both situations can reveal powerful and intense emotions in all those involved. When our children were younger the sibling rivalry was more prevalent, but now as they are adults, the sibling love, respect and protectionism is very apparent in their relationships with one another. However, I do recall one episode in particular of one of our daughters protecting her brother out of sibling love when they were young. Our middle daughter Lauren was a fifth grade safety patrol member at Bear Branch Elementary. Her brother Blake, a second grader, was being pushed around by an older boy while trying to remove his bike from the bike rack one day after school. Lauren, a normally very quiet child, immediately found her voice and walked right up to the older boy and said, “Leave my brother alone! You shouldn’t treat younger children that way. You’re on report! ” Her emotions to protect her brother certainly did “rise up” within her. For as often as they disagreed, they loved each other and she was willing to sacrifice her own safety to defend her brother.
I see similar emotions of sibling love in Mary and Martha’s relationship with one another and with their brother Lazarus. Although we know of the differences between Mary and Martha’s personalities, they certainly were united in their love for their brother. The women must have been distraught when they thought they had lost their brother forever. We read here in Scripture of each sister taking a different action in response to the death of their brother and in receiving word that Jesus, their friend, was coming. While Mary stays home, Martha is the one who rushes to confront Jesus and admonish him for not arriving in time to save her brother. “If only you had been here…” Jesus, however, responds with the reminder of God’s loving plan of hope and resurrection.
Jesus loves you. God has a plan. Lazarus will rise up. Just believe. WOW!
How often do we rush to judgment?
Which emotions most often “rise up” within you?
What do you most hope for in life?
What daily reminders do we need of God’s best plan for our lives?