Eve of Epiphany: Psalm 29, 98; Isaiah 66:18-23; Romans 15:7-13
Friends have a way of telling us hard truths, of giving us second and third and fourth chances. True friends that is, not those who are not invested in us as we are in them. If we are blessed with having these kind of friends in our lives, we can be gifted with insights into ourselves and the world around us that we might not be able to see or understand without their presence and honesty in our lives.
In our MP Gospel reading we have Jesus raising Lazarus from his tomb, four days after he had been placed there. Jesus shouts into the tomb, after the stone is rolled away, Lazarus, come out! and when the he does come out bound in strips of cloth Jesus says, Unbind him, and let him go.
We are told by the Gospel writer John that Lazarus (and his sisters Martha and Mary) were not only followers of Jesus but also his friends. What a gift to be given a chance to live again. Perhaps that is one of the things we are asked to think about from this Gospel reading, a chance to be resurrected into a new life with our friends. Or, similarly, who in our lives needs to be shaken up, told to come out, to be unbound, to allow them to go free. Are we open to hearing those commands from our friends? Do we have the courage, strength and love to say something to someone who needs to alter the trajectory they are on? A new chance is always worth the effort.
Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.