March 27

John 11:1-16

“But when Jesus heard it, he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’” vs. 4

These words of Jesus seem contradictory. Whoever heard of an illness that could bring glory to God, especially one that was deadly in nature? And yet that’s what happened–Lazarus died, but his death provided an opportunity for folks to celebrate life. We’ve been thinking about such things as this new disease, COVID-19, has raced around the globe, not only bringing death to thousands, but also thoroughly disrupting our daily lives. People have been challenged to rethink priorities as they’ve lost jobs and nest eggs have been ravaged. Sometimes the epidemic has uncovered our worst human tendencies as some have engaged in hoarding and scapegoating. But for the most part, we’ve behaved rather well, and maybe even surprised ourselves as we’ve reached out to the vulnerable and provided generously for the needy. People have found remarkable comradery in challenging circumstances, and we’ve learned what it’s like to sacrifice for the sake of others. Some might even say that this illness has brought out the best in us, and that through it God has been glorified. Of course we want it to be brought under control, and our hearts go out to those who have suffered and died–but maybe this awful season of postponements and shut-downs can teach some valuable lessons about life in community, and how important even small acts of love can be.

Thought for the Day: What have I learned about myself during these last weeks?

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