November 6

John 11:32-39

“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved.” vs. 33

When Lazarus died, his sisters and friends did for him according to the customs of their people. They washed his body, wrapped it in cloth, and then put it in a tomb. And then their friends came by the house with hot dishes and hugs–and they cried a lot! Only a few of those details are different from how we deal with death now. We do the rituals of our faith communities and then we eat and weep! Death has a way of eliciting our deepest feelings and emotions–even strong men are caught up in the sadness and slip into tears. John tells us that Jesus was deeply moved and agitated when he saw his friends crying. That’s just how it is when we lose loved ones–even when we have certainties about resurrection and new life to come, it’s not unusual to cry our eyes out in the presence of death. We hate to lose friends and family–their absence is so obvious and it can take years to become accustomed to the void. And when people are particularly close it is almost as though a part of ourselves has died with them. We have a sense that life isn’t going to be the same without them–and yet life does go on–both for ourselves and for our loved ones. This weekend we’ll be remembering those saints in worship by lifting up their names and offering prayers. And we may even smile as we remember!

Thought for the Day: When does death hit the hardest?

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