1) Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 minutes)
2) Scripture Reading: John 11: 28-37
28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. 32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”3) Devotional:
“One of the greatest cultural divides in today’s world is the different ways in which we do funerals. In many parts of the world people still mourn their dead in much the same way that they did in Jesus’ day. There are processions, carrying the coffin along the streets to the place of burial or cremation. Everyone, particularly the women, cries and wails. There is wild, sad music. The process of grief is well and truly launched. One person’s grief communicates to another; it’s part of the strange business of being human that when we are with very sad people their sadness infects us even if we don’t share their particular grief (The psychologists would point out that we all carry deep grief’s of one sort or another, and these come to the surface when we are with others who have more immediate reason for sorrow)....What grief within Jesus’ own heart was stirred by the tears of Mary and the crowd? We can only guess. But among those guesses we must place, not a grief for other deaths in the past, but a grief for a death still to come: his own…Couldn’t the man who did so many signs have brought it about that he himself didn’t have to die? Couldn’t the one who saved so many have in the end saved himself? John is telling us the answer by a thousand hints and images throughout his book. It is only through his death, it is only through his sharing of the common fate of humanity, that the world can be saved….’Come and see,’ they respond, as Jesus had responded to the early disciple’s enquiry as to where he was staying. It is the simplest of invitations, and yet it goes to the heart of the Christian faith. ‘Come and see,’ we say to Jesus, as we lead him, all tears, to the place of our deepest grief and sorrow. ‘Come and see,’ He says to us in reply, as he leads us through the sorrow to the place where he now dwells in light and love and resurrection glory.”
N.T. Wright from John for Everyone pp.9-124) Questions to Consider:
What great grief and sorrow overtakes you now? How is Jesus leading you through the sorrow to the place where light, love and resurrection glory live?
Lord, you know the pain that I am going through now. I don’t understand or even like what this is, but bring me to the place where I can embrace Your resurrection power. Amen.
Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)