Almost 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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When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”

John 11:17–27

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Our faith is about life and death, but maybe not in the way we first imagined. It can be tempting to think that following Jesus is about whether we go to heaven or hell when we die. But Jesus didn’t really talk about death that way.

When Martha says that she knows Lazarus will rise “on the last day,” she demonstrates a deep faith, but Jesus raises the bar. “I am the resurrection” he says, “and I am the life.” Jesus ties the two together. Following Jesus is not simply a safety precaution to make sure we go to heaven.

If Jesus is the life, the task for Christians is to live like Jesus. Living like Jesus won’t make you rich or famous, but the world needs people who love and serve and pray like Jesus did. Our suffering world needs us to practice raising other people up.

Mike Angell

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God, I know that following Jesus is a matter of life and death, for me and for others. Help me to live like him. 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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