Thursday, September 9, 2010

Called by the Teacher

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. John 11:21-29

The last few days have been a swirl of activity on our church campus. Our daycare center began again yesterday after a brief vacation. Anxious parents with new students watched carefully as their children acclimated themselves to their new environment. Many parents were reluctant to go and came early to pick their child up. Our nursery school begins next week and the teachers are here putting everything in place. We are a humming mass of excitement and anticipation. I can remember those first few days before school when the anxiety and anticipation was palatable. Would I like my teacher and would they like me? Would I have friends? All the usual questions flood back in my memory. And a great fear I had was being called on by the teacher and not being able to answer. I wanted more than anything to be smart and to not fold under pressure.

Jesus is talking with the very practical Martha, who has just entombed her brother after death. Martha has all the right answers for Jesus, even though at first, she chided him for his tardiness. Martha and Mary are so different on the surface and yet they both want to shine before Jesus and have the right answers for Jesus. Despite their grief they want to believe that God is acting on their behalf and that they will see their heart's desire. They know that Jesus' loves them and they understand his love and care for their brother, despite their confusion and hurt. And Jesus reveals in them a depth of love and compassion that shines beyond their own individual personalities and differences for the good of the whole gathered class. Everyone present would witness a phenomenal miracle that day.

Today, I want to live beyond the anxiety and anticipation that this season evokes. I want to trust that God will arrive in our midst on time. I want to dismiss the signals that it is too late to shine, too late to learn, too late to be transformed anew by God's love in Christ. I pray that we can all make room for miracle and revelation despite our own trembling hearts and fears of failure this day.

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