Sunday 25th October 2020

The Big Reversal!

This Sunday we will explore one of the greatest story in John’s Gospel, the story of Lazarus.  It is easy to jump to the resurrection part of the story and forget the reality of death.  Death is one of the taboos of our age.  We often seek to avoid the change and decay that is all around us.  In the book “Border Lands,” David Adam’s notes that “we work so hard at keeping things alive that should be allowed to die decently. We keep organisations alive that have passed their usefulness; we spend millions of pounds trying to sustain a past that is gone.  We cover up with euphemisms and cosmetics.  What we avoid at all costs is breakdown, which is looked upon as death.” (p 174)  Breakdown often occurs when we are not willing to let go, when we refuse to face the death of the old way of doing things.  We often use our energies and resources to discover the “good old days” and we are not at ease to discover what God is doing in the present. 

The current pandemic bought an abrupt stop to most of what we were doing in church.  It imposed on us all a kind of death, a breakdown of the familiar and the way we use to do things.  It is hard and painful, but if we allow death to do its work properly, we will see new life spring from death.  Jesus was crucified, died and was buried.  He suffered mental, physical and spiritual agonies.  His life could seem a complete breakdown, a total failure.  But the cross is empty. Breakdown is not the end. Without the cross there is no resurrection; without death, no newness of life.  Without breakdown, there is no breakthrough.

A prayerful exercise taken from “Border Lands” (p177-178)

Know that He was crucified and lives, walks with you. Let Him walk into your past.  He walks into rooms that we thought locked indeed, that He may bring peace.  Experience that peace, His forgiveness and His living presence.

Offer Him your failures and frustrations:  all that you wish to forget, all that you cannot forgive, all that hurts and pains you.

Walk into areas that seem to be breaking down and know that He offers you His Presence; Resurrection and Life

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