“Jesus wept” (John 11:35). Oh how he loved Lazarus. Joan Chittister says this about weeping: “Weeping is very holy and life-giving. It sounds the alarms for a society and wisens the soul of the individual.”
When I looked at readings for this weekend, I couldn’t help but think of how Scripture does come alive for us in this moment. As I/we day by day see our lifestyles change before us due to COVID-19, what are we experiencing? How are we feeling? Are we letting those things we cannot control (the actions of others, other people’s motives, the amount of toilet paper in the stores or how others are following the CDC regulations) fill our days OR can we focus on those things we can control (my own social distancing, my positive attitude, my ability to turn off the news, my creativity to find fun things to do at home and my opportunities for being kind and gracious)?
Ezekiel speaks of opening the graves of the people of Israel knowing that Yahweh will place his spirit in the people, reviving them, letting them know he has spoken. John then shares with us this beautiful story of friendship and love, mingled with temporary loss and sadness. Sounds to me a lot like what is happening today. People have perhaps lost their spirit (soul). It has become withered and needs to be revived. Has being confined and social distancing brought out the bitterness in you or the creativity? There are many challenges. Are we capable of taking a breath and dealing with the challenges in a peaceful manner?
Jesus waited before he got to Martha and Mary’s and yet knew what was at hand. He was able to weep for his dear friend and then reveal God’s glory. He wept because it was holy and life-giving. It sounded the alarm for friends of Martha and Mary. Lazarus was dead, brought back to life, and unbound from all that hampered him from living a true grace filled life.
During this challenging time of COVID-19, are we able to see the things that bind us, that keep us from living a full life? Many of us may have forgotten that God really is in charge and though we would like to be in control, it is not possible today March 25, 2020. The question for the week is how will I live out this time? Will I take the path that leads to life or one that leads to fear? Will I creatively spend time with those I live with or will I constantly complain? Will I spend time laughing in the light or cursing the darkness? The choices, though hard, are up to each of us. Choose wisely, my friends, knowing that God has never left our side. He chooses to bring us life.
Till next week,
P.S. Speaking of being in control, today is the feast of the Annunciation. Do you think Mary had control of her life? Remember, how that story played out! Health and healing, my friends.