..the first thing to say is that all these COVID-19 restrictions are so fresh and all-encompassing that it’s a little hard not to view life through them at present. And therefore the sermon. That, said it’s not my intention to let ‘the 19’ dominate every sermon from now till we emerge the other side. Rest assured! But not starting this week. The Gospel concerns Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. There are quite a few other persons in the account. The thing they all have in common is that they are pretty annoyed with Jesus in some way. Fair enough. ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’ (John 11:37). That’s representative of the sort of heartfelt questioning. All said with a bit of nark though. You have expectations about Jesus too. How have they been disappointed, changed and downgraded these past few weeks? For some of you COVID-19 is not or will not be the worst thing that ever ruptures your life. For all of us perspective is helpful. The challenge in a text like the raising of Lasarus is to have Christ’s perspective. That what he would have us learn here. As ever, it’s a lesson in faith and for faith. In that lesson he shows us there are some very unreasonable expectations we should have, once we really think about the nature of resurrection as an antidote to the stench of death. Our resurrection after our death. All by his death and sealed with his resurrection. Whoever said Jesus, his Father and the Spirit that brings them to us was into reason though? That’s too human a construction. Seems a lot more like a case of Jesus being ‘unreasonable’… thankfully.
March 27, 2020 Pastor Matt Bishop