Saturday, February 22, 2014

Let Us Go

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, "Lord, he whom you love is ill." But when Jesus heard it, he said, "This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God's glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it." Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

Then after this Jesus said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again." The disciples said to him, "Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?" Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them." After saying this, he told them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him." The disciples said to him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right." Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him." Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him." John 11:1-16

Yesterday we took a walk through Totem park. It is a nice flat walk by the water and through the woods. Yesterday it was more challenging because we have had quite a bit of snow and ice, freezing and refreezing. There were very few people there because of it. It was a gorgeous sunny day and the walk was beautiful throughout, although we had to be careful not to slip and fall in some places, while others, the snow was high and make for a different kind of trekking. The sights and silence, the light and shadows all were beautiful and unforgettable. But we had to go out to see it, we had to take the risk to enjoy it.

Lazarus, a dear friend of Jesus, was dying. To go to Judea was certain death for Jesus, as the religious authority had threatened him directly. Everyone knew that they were facing grave danger. Jesus knew that they would have to go anyway, if the world was going to witness a profound miracle. They had to go, facing threats from all sides, in order to see God's beauty and majesty at work. God invites us, when feeling threatened on all sides, to go awkward and difficult places, for there we will see God's beauty and majesty. In comfortable places we often miss the blessing, but we will know it for sure when we step out in faith.

Today I ask God to help me step out in faith. May we face the dark and uncomfortable places in our lives, expecting to find miracles instead of death. May we trust God to protect and defend us. May the road ahead bring more beauty and blessing than the challenges we faces.

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