Warmer temperatures, plants beginning to break through the earth, and the start of a new baseball season are all welcome signs of spring, new life, and the marvels of our Creator. This Sunday's Gospel is also a glimpse of the Easter proclamation ahead, a reminder of Christ's powerful presence in our lives, and a poignant reminder that death does not get the final word even when it sometimes feels that way. As I prepare for this weekend and for a Bible Study at noontime today, I invite you to read this weekend's Gospel text in advance with a few questions to think about along the way. The Gospel is John 11:1-45 (the only text that we will focus upon this weekend)
1. Why do you think that Jesus did not go immediately to help Lazarus?
2. How would you describe the words of Thomas in this text?
3. When Mary and Martha address Jesus upon his arrival, are they using words of anger or words of faith? Why do you think this?
4. What do you learn about Jesus from his words, actions, and reactions at the tomb?
5. Why do you think that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead?
6. What do you find amazing or just plain weird about this story?
7. What does this story have to say about our relationship with Jesus?
8. What does this story have to say about our role as followers of Jesus?
Looking forward to being with many of you this weekend as we gather around Word and Sacrament, prayer and song, open our eyes to Christ who walks with us in our deepest valleys, and give thanks to a Savior who will make all things new. See you in church!