The reading for Sunday 29th is another long account from the Gospel of John, chapter 11 verses 1 – 45. It tells the well‑known story of Lazarus being brought back to life and it is a reminder to us that we should not limit our expectations with God, that the Creator is able to do miraculous things.
Jesus took time to explain these things to Martha and Mary, answering their needs and weeping with them. This shows us that God works with us, alongside us so that we can understand what is happening. God weeps with us, God will do spectacular things and many who came to their home witnessed Lazarus alive and they put their faith in Jesus.
At the same time, the miracle also provoked the Pharisees and the chief priests to decide that Jesus should die and they worked together, plotting to take his life. So Jesus had his own social isolation as he moved to the desert village of Ephraim.
As Martha and Mary brought their faith and indeed their gaps in faith to Jesus, this was prayer. Jesus worked with them and great things happened. Others did not listen and they were led to do terrible things. Even so, God’s plan was not spoiled but fulfilled and we look ahead to the celebration to come in just a few weeks’ time.
Collect Prayer for this Sunday:
Most merciful God, who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ delivered and saved the world: grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross we may triumph in the power of his victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Collect for Passion Sunday (Lent 5)