Weekly Church Service – Lent 5: 26 March 2023


‘I am the resurrection and the life,’ says the Lord; ‘whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.’ John 11:25-26



Life-giving God, your Son came into the world to free us all from sin and death:
breathe upon us with the power of your Spirit, that we may be raised to new life in Christ,
and serve you in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen



This week:

  • Ezekiel 37:1-14
  • Psalm 130
  • Romans 8:6-11
  • John 11:1-45

  • Next week:

  • Isaiah 50:4-9a
  • Psalm 31:9-18
  • Philippians 2:5-11
  • Matthew 26:14-27;66

A Thought to Ponder

Lent 5

Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face wrapped in a cloth. “Untie him and let him go.

As was the case in John’s account of the healing of the man born blind (last Sunday’s Gospel), the raising of Lazarus is more than just a sign of Jesus’ love and compassion. Each of the seven miracles that John includes in his Gospel (“the Books of Signs,” as this section of John’s Gospel is title) is dramatized be the evangelist to underscore some dimension of the redemptive nature of Jesus’ work. Today’s Gospel, the climactic sign in John’s Gospel, is presented in five distinct, self-contained scenes: Jesus receiving the news of Lazarus’ death, the disciples’ protesting Jesus’ return to Judea, Martha’s pleading with Jesus, Jesus’ emotional arrival at the tomb, and the miraculous raising of Lazarus.

The raising of Lazarus is clearly intended by John to demonstrate Jesus’ power over life and death. The raising of Lazarus plays like a rehearsal for the events next week’s liturgies will celebrate.

As Jesus called out to Lazarus to be untied from the wrappings of the dead and to be free to live once again, so we are called to be free from those things that keep us too busy from loving and being loved.

Resurrection is an attitude, a perspective that finds hope in the hardest times and uncovers life among the ruined, that reveals light in the darkest night. To each one of us belongs Jesus’ work of resurrection at Lazarus’s tomb: to help others free themselves from their tombs of dark hopelessness and the fear and sadness that bind them.

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