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 12:1-2 shows Jesus coming to Bethany, very close to Jerusalem. Though there is a warrant for his arrest in Jerusalem, he joins with his friends to dine. Lazarus, Mary, Martha, and their household prepare a special dinner. The word used in Greek indicates some sort of festive feast, not a normal meal. We can assume the presence of additional guests. Since he had been raised from the dead, Lazarus was locally famous.
Jesus reclines to dine with his friends. There is a storm brewing. Arrest is not far away. Lazarus has also been persecuted, simply for being raised from the dead, not for anything he had done himself. Yet even in dark times, we gather to dine with our friends. We find what peace and comfort we can.
We may well ask ourselves in times of trouble what comfort we can find. We find that comfort in the Gospel, but also in the relationships we have with friends and family. We find comfort as we gather together. Sometimes in the midst of trials the most healing and productive action we can take is inaction. We pause. We breathe. We learn to trust in the God who has provided salvation on our behalf. The time to get up and engage in activity which looks more purposeful will come.
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