Everyone wants to be noticed. Pretty much everybody desires to be seen as special, even extraordinary.

That kind of ambition can get in the way of the Christian walk, however. If there is to be any glory gained from living our lives, it’s important to recognize that all the credit goes eventually to the One who made us and gifted us.

Prepare now to yield your spirit to the Spirit in whom all true glory resides.

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Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 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.” Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

John 11:1–6

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“Jesus stayed two days longer in the place....” Though he loved his friend, he did not go to his bedside immediately. There is a foreboding in these first few verses, the beginning of the Lazarus story. I often have that sense in my own life, a sense that something isn’t quite right. I get this feeling especially when I have done something wrong to a friend or a family member.

The most useful definition of sin I have come across is simple: Sin is anything that diminishes my own humanity or the humanity of someone else. When I do not act as I know I should, or without the immediacy that puts another’s needs before my own, I can get that sinking feeling.

Yet there is redemption coming in this story. We know, in the end, God will act. Grace comes eventually, sometimes despite our own procrastination.

Mike Angell

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God, help me to think of others first and to depend on your grace when I get anxious about what to do next. Amen.

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We all fall short of the glory of God.
But being a follower of Jesus means taking the risk
That the resurrection-informed life is the better way.

Take the risk that your prayers might be powerful,
That love may in fact be the strongest thing of all,
Worth giving all you have that it might be known.

The glory of God will light your way.

Mike Angell

Michael Angell currently serves as the missioner for young adult & campus ministries for the Episcopal Church, coordinating the Episcopal Church outreach to young adults throughout the church in campus settings and beyond.

Reflections on the Way: Lord I Want to Be a Christian - This is My Father’s World

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