Friday, June 02, 2006

June 2 SoulConnect..."Waiting On God"

There is a story in the Bible where Jesus gets word that a close friend of his, Lazarus, was very sick. Upon hearing about his friend Jesus stayed where he was for two more days. The family and friends of Lazarus were gathered. Everybody was waiting, and Jesus decided to take his sweet time. By the time Jesus arrived, Lazarus had died. In fact he had been in a tomb for four days. Jesus was late and folks were none too happy. They said things like, “Jesus, if you would have been here Lazarus would not have died.” Jesus takes a little heat for taking his time, but soon turns his focus toward the dead man in the tomb. Giving thanks to his Father, God for hearing him, Jesus calls forth Lazarus from the tomb. “Lazarus, come out!” Lazarus comes out in his grave clothes, bound at the feet and hands, resurrected to new life. And what does Jesus do? He turns to the crowd and says, “Take off his grave clothes and let him go.”

In many ways we are like the folks in the Lazarus story. We’re waiting for Jesus to show up in the midst of some deep need that we have. Often it seems that God is taking his sweet time, if even showing up at all. We run to God and exclaim, “If you would have been here this would not have happened!” Too often we bind one another up with our own, self-centered expectations, become offended when things don’t go our way and then wait for God to show up and fix it. I believe the power in this story comes at the very end when Jesus turns to the crowd that is present and says, “Unbind (take the grave clothes off) him, and let him go.” We are reminded that as we join together in Christian community, we have the responsibility to nurture one another into faithfulness. We are called to bear one another’s burdens, and unbind our brothers and sisters so that they can fully experience new life in Christ.

The good news is that God has already arrived and through the life and teachings of Christ, God turns to us and says, “Unbind him/her/them, and let them go.” Let us walk this new life together, unbinding, and walking with our neighbor and experiencing this new life together.



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