The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
John 11:25-26 is probably the most powerful Bible passasge found in traditional funeral liturgies. In the liturgy I normally use, the passage is proclaimed twice, right near the end of the funeral, with a prayer sandwiched between the recitations.
What promise does Jesus make? Unlike the discussion he has with his disciples earlier, in this passage he is dealing with the grieving sister of Lazarus. He brings no new teaching. She expects a resurrection at the end of the age. He confirms this expectation. Then he moves it a little closer. Martha can expect that Jesus can and will preserve her brother at the present and forever. He says, “he will not die.”
Martha confesses that Jesus is the Christ. She knows that he will be able to take care of the future. She is about to see that he is able to take care of the present as well. May we, with Martha, learn that Jesus is our living hope, both now and forever.
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