Lenten Meditation 33, April 2

Sunday, April 2

Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 130
Romans 8:6-11
John 11:1-45

by The Rev. Canon Linda Taylor

The word in the Lazarus story that grabs my attention is unbind. Unbind. Jesus calls Lazarus to come out of the tomb, and he does just that. Lazarus comes out, blinking against the light of the sun, even with the cloth covering his face. He’s probably stumbling as he emerges—walking on legs that have been dead for four days and tripping on the burial cloths that bind him. And the people who have gathered to watch Jesus’ grief—the people who are also mourning this man who’s been such an important part of their community—are probably falling over each other to get away. And Jesus says to them: Unbind him and let him go.

As I write this meditation several weeks before the beginning of Lent, I wonder what will be unbound as we prepare our hearts for the Paschal feast. Unbinding is not always a comfortable process. The ties that bind us can give comfort and a sense of stability. They can also hold us back from new life. Lazarus obediently came out of the tomb, but he couldn’t step into new life without the freedom only his community could give him. He needed the people of his community to set him free from the things that bound him to his former life.

The good news is that Jesus continues to call each of us into new life as the Body of Christ. The good news is that we have this ever-changing community to support us as we move away from the ties that bind us and toward healing and wholeness. The good news is that God’s Spirit is with us on the days when that’s easy and on the days when that movement leaves us shaking in our shoes.

Thanks be to God.