The Resurrection and the Life
By Karin Peter of Olympia, WA, USA
When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 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 11:43-45 NRSV
While visiting at the home of dear friends, we decided to watch a movie on television. I objected to the suggested movie because I don’t like to watch things that are frightening or full of suspense. I explained to my friends that when startled, I feel trapped, I can’t catch my breath, and my stomach seems tied in knots. As I shared, six-year-old Conner came and sat beside me. “Don’t worry,” he said. “I will sit next to you the whole time. I will warn you when anything scary is about to happen so you won’t be startled.” And with Conner beside me, we watched the movie.
Anxiety over a scary movie is a small challenge to overcome. Often that which binds us is much more serious. We can get wrapped up in our agendas easily at the expense of others. Some of us get tangled up in behaviors or relationships that are unhealthy or even life-threatening. And often we find ourselves feeling trapped by circumstances beyond our control.
The good news of the Resurrection is that even amid these challenges we are not alone. The life-giving breath of Christ is always with us. The resurrected Christ is made real to us through ministries of acceptance and reconciliation that we find in Christ-centered community. We see this in the story of Lazarus. When Jesus calls Lazarus from the tomb, he does not say to him, “Remove the cloths that have been wrapped around you and free yourself.” Instead, Jesus speaks to the disciples gathered at the tomb. Jesus calls the community to “unbind him, and let him go.” As Community of Christ, may we respond to the call.
God, may my deep hope align with your deep vision. Release in me anything that keeps me from freely following your Spirit. Amen.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Breathe deeply as you enter a time of silence. Become gently attentive to what may be restricting you from faithfully responding to the divine invitation in your life. Are there priorities, attachments, tasks, or motivations competing for your response? What does freedom for God look or feel like in you this day?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.