The vignette from the Life of Christ icon about Lazarus picks up on the event of his being raised from the dead, foreshadowing what is just about to come for Jesus a week from this event. The story in John’s Gospel pops up in the lectionary during Lent (Year C – Week 5) and on the Feast of All Saints (Year B). I chose an abridged form of the latter readings (Psalm 24, Revelation 21:1-6, & John 11:38-44) as they captured the promise of the physical resurrection we anticipate, even as we are spiritually risen with Christ by faith now. I hope you find these readings an encouragement to a deeper life of trust in our Lord!
As we progress through the Life of Christ icon, we come across the readings from the Second Sunday in Epiphany, Year C, to guide our ruminations. Psalm 36:5-10, Isaiah 62:1-5, and John 2:1-11, each help us appreciate the love of God and how the covenant of marriage models Christ’s love for his Church and how honoring marriage inspires us to pursue a deeper connection with the Triune God whose love for us is unfathomable.
One theme that pops up in our readings today is how Christ is glorified in his people. Of course, that ties in with the larger summons to seek and serve Christ is all people – as we promised in our baptismal covenant. So we need to do our part to look for Jesus in everyone, plus show that same same Jesus to everyone.
Also, take a moment to reflect on how Jesus fulfills God’s promises in his Ascension back to heaven, both in what he does for us and what he does in us.
Jesus reveals himself to be the way, the truth, and life in our Gospel lesson today. Because of who our Lord is and what he done, no other holy person could hold a candle to how he connects us to our Heavenly and the promises he grants us.
Sorry for being a little late on my sermon posting. This week of the Good Shepherd (see the collect for the Fourth Sunday), Jesus reveals himself in John’s Gospel to be the “gate” for God’s sheepfold. Let us rejoice in the protection, provision, and guidance our Lord provides for us as part of his flock.
As we wind down Lent and enter Holy Week, the lectionary presents readings to stoke our hearts’ flames with hope in anticipation of the resurrection! And that hope stirs us to genuinely pursue God’s call to care for people in body as much as soul, and to care for creation as much as people.