Do you believe?
Church News | Sunday, 10 April 2016 |
The reading from John 11: Tells the story of the raising of Lazarus. The story is moving indeed, but even more so when Phillip set the scene for us at Evening Prayer. Imagine he suggested that we were actually there in Bethany after the death of a beloved brother. Phillip started his talk by saying how reserved us English are at funerals. No matter how close we are to the deceased it is our usual trait to maintain a ‘stiff upper lip’ throughout. Not so with the Jewish community in Israel where even today family, friends and neighbours will gather outside to weep and wail!
It must have been so when Martha and Mary lost their beloved brother. Martha distraught went out to find Jesus who was some way off from the village in which the family lived. Martha was beside herself when she finally found her Lord and friend and informed him about her brother’s demise saying that ‘If you had been here my brother would not have died.’
Philip encouraged us to imagine being there when Jesus received the news, reminding us that He called for Mary to come and see him too. When Mary arrived with all her relations and friends desperate and crying, Jesus too was deeply moved and - He wept!
Jesus asked the sisters if ‘they believed?’ And of course they did, for Jesus said that He was the resurrection and the life and those who believed in Him would never die. At that he went to the tomb in which Lazarus had lain for four days and called him by name…
Philip reminded us all that Jesus said ‘If we truly believe we will never die.’