Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

John 11:32-44:

When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35Jesus began to weep. 36So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” 38Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”


Ok, without getting totally gross here, I have to admit that when we are talking about that "stench" I have a VERY advanced handle on just exactly what that stench would have been like, having had rotations in my residency through the Office of the Medical Examiner.

I often imagine if I were one of the bystanders in this scene. In the Jewish theological sense, the belief was that your soul left after three days. In the biological sense, in a desert country, we are talking "heavy duty stench." Either way it shakes out, "Lazarus is really REALLY dead."

When Jesus said to take away that stone, I'd be going "AGGGGH! Oh, God, no! Are you NUTS? This is gonna REALLY stink. Someone's gonna barf. Hopefully, it won't be me."

But what happened, no one expected. Lazarus came out! Alive! WHOA!

Well...gee whiz...

How many times does the same thing happen in our spiritual lives? We do NOT want to uncover some of the sins that sit and putrefy in our secret hearts, even though they separate us from "life"--life with God's purpose for us. We do NOT want to even uncover these things in prayer, because we are absolutely sure the stench of them will run everyone out of the room, or make us barf, ourselves. We can be literally sick to our stomach over them!

But I have to confess...when I finally do roll those stones away, even if I am cringing and holding my nose the entire time...more often than not, I'm surprised by the lack of stench and the amazing life that comes forth from them. Maybe not immediately, but after a few days I "get it." It is how we really ARE resurrected and healed.

So...ok...(hold nose, grit teeth, and flinch)...roll away the stone! (I think!)

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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