40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”-John 11:40-44
It is probably very fitting that I make my return to regular posts after a hiatus these past six or more months. Holy Week kicks off this Sunday with the church’s celebration of Palm Sunday, and just as we anticipate the climax of Jesus’ ministry as it takes him to the cross, and his bodily resurrection on the third day, I feel like I have called from death to life.
Navigating the pandemic has been incredibly difficult as a person, a father, a husband, and a pastor. Of course, we aren’t out of the woods yet, but good news seems to trickle more freely than it once did. To that end, we all ought to pray daily that God bring relief to our world and our communities. There are still many who suffer, and the church is called to give its counter witness of self-giving love and service to a world that seems, at times, to be locked on a course of selfish destruction.
During this time, I have poured myself into trying to do ministry and help my community navigate the complexities of being good neighbors in a trying time. I have also spent this time writing my doctoral project. I am happy to report that I will be turning in a fourth, and hopefully final draft of my doctoral project entitled, “For the Beauty of the Earth: Faith, Ecology, and Care” this coming Monday. Just as Lazarus was called out of that grave so that the glory of God might shine in the sign of his being raised, I feel like this accomplishment is nothing more than the sheer grace of God. Honestly, I have no idea how I’ve gotten this far.
So, I will have a post soon, continuing my study of 2 Corinthians, as well as any other topic that might come to mind. Pray for me, my family, and the church. Pray for our world. And as we do, let the church of Jesus Christ make it graveside song: “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!”