Pause

Take a moment just now

To step away from the worries of illness and isolation.

Sit at the feet of a faithful Gospel writer.

Hear the stories of resurrection and life

And let those stories speak to you.

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Listen

Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha replied, “I know that he will rise in the resurrection on the last day.”

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die. Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

She replied, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, God’s Son, the one who is coming into the world.”

John 11:23-27

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Think

Don’t you love Martha’s response to Jesus’s question here?

In this theologically dense passage of the Lazarus story, Jesus reveals to his dear friend Martha one of the mysteries of faith: “Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die. Everyone who believes in me will never die,” he says. “Do you believe this?”

Live though they die? Believe and never die? Do the believers die and then live? Or not die at all? I still can’t quite fathom it, but this passage is one that never fails to bring me hope, even if I can’t quite explain what it means.

Perhaps that’s Martha’s experience, too. Her answer to the question doesn’t try to parse the exact theological meaning of this passage. Instead, she affirms that she knows where Jesus is from and where he’s going:

“Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, God’s Son, the one who is coming into the world.”

Jane Claspy Nesmith

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Pray

Loving God, your ways are too lofty for me to comprehend. But although I cannot always understand, my hope is in you, because you are Life. Amen.

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Go

Listen to these words: “I have called you by name, you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)

Go now, knowing that God calls you by name, and claims you with love.

Go now, knowing that God draws near when you cry out in sadness and anger.

Go now, ready to live a resurrection life.

Jane Claspy Nesmith

Jane Claspy Nesmith, a member of the United Methodist Church, teaches writing and directs the writing center at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She enjoys singing, birding, and hanging out with her husband and two adult sons.

Praying Together

John Morton

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