Lent in music

Enjoy this fun re-telling of the raising of Lazarus John 11.

For a more reflective version https://connects.live/2019/04/04/lenten-devotionals-day-24/

Lenten devotionals: day 24

I believe in the resurrection

Previously in Judea,

Lazarus entombed
Mindful of sin Jesus wept
Grace for all mankind

A disciple continues the narrative

We followed in funereal quietness to the place where Lazarus was buried. A stone sealed the mouth of the cave.

“Roll away the stone” Jesus said.

“But Lord,” Martha protested, ” by now there will be an odour. My brother has been dead for four days!”

“Martha, only believe and you will see the glory of God”

Once the stone was rolled away Jesus prayed and then commanded

“Lazarus! Come here!”

There was no earth shattering quake, no thunderclap, no blinding light. Just a moment of not deathly but living vibrancy as Lazarus obeyed the voice of his Lord and master.

In a moment of normality that wasn’t Jesus simply said,

“Help him take off the death robes”

When I was dead to sin, buried in watery baptism, Jesus called and said, “Sue, come to me. You are burdened with many things. Bury them here, for I have already dealt with them. Take off the rubbish garb and wear these designer robes of purity, truth, innocence and life. I love you. Believe, and you will be given a path of rightness. Live to die no more. “

That is why I believe in the resurrection. Why do you believe?

Same hymn this time with words.

As I was debating which hymn to close with I found an otherwise unknown piece to me which is quite delightful, however not quite fitting for the meditation here so I have posted it on my music page. If you want to check it out follow the link.

Carman Lazarus

Lenten devotionals: day 23

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
      the holy catholic* church,
      the communion of saints,
      the forgiveness of sins,
      the resurrection of the body,

Even though I exercise regularly, try to eat well, have never smoked and by choice don’t drink, my 66 year old body tells my spirit, this home is not for ever.

I believe that one day I will have a body that does not ache, show signs of age and become weary.

Why do I believe?

Come, let us journey.

Text based on John 11.

The setting: Having been in the desert area where John had preached and baptised, Jesus wanted to return to Judea.

A disciple takes up the story.

We have just crossed the river Jordan, heading back to Judea. Jesus is resolute in this decision, but we are unsettled.

“Lord, you know that to travel this way is to go towards death”

” I know. A family needs me”.

On the way we discuss recent events and are troubled. We had heard that our friend Lazarus was sick and Jesus did not seem to care. Now, when he says he is sleeping, surely a sign that he will get better, Jesus decides to go to them?

“No ” Jesus revealed, “Lazarus has died. I must go and see him.”

It was Thomas who persuaded us that we should go with Jesus, even if it meant we too would die.

It was a quiet, pensive journey. As we approached Bethany, Martha ran out to greet us.

“Lord, if you had been with us, my brother would not have died. Yet, I have faith that God will do anything you ask”

“Martha, Lazarus will rise again.”

“Yes, I know he will rise in the resurrection.”

“Martha, I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe this will not die. Do you believe?”

“Yes, Lord. I believe you are Messiah, come into the world.”

Martha then left to tell Mary that Jesus was here. We remained and waited for Mary.

When she arrived and Jesus saw her weeping, he was moved by her grief. We went to the tomb and there Jesus wept.

A moment of silence

Jesus wept

I found this rather penetrating song and it so expresses what I want to leave us with today. I hope you benefit by it also. Don’t forget to connect with others today, start a conversation below.

Join us tomorrow as we continue…

Lenten devotionals: day 22

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
     the holy catholic church,
      the communion of saints,
      the forgiveness of sins,

Yesterday I met an angel.

No, it was not a stunning looking man in white robes with flowing hair and sturdy wings.

Allow me to tell you the story.

I had just attended communion at St James cathedral. I exited the building to a white world of snow. Winters last hurrah we hope. I decided to enjoy the snow and walk back to my place of stay. Toronto in the late morning, on a Sunday is an amazing mixture of people. Some, like myself, appeared to be amused by winters joke, others surprised. I heard snatches of conversation, “It was supposed to be warm today”; “Yesterday I wore shorts…..”

I smiled in sympathetic amusement. Then God challenged me, as I started to notice the wet, bedraggled clothes left in doorways, indicating that someone had spent a cold, uncomfortable night on the street. Suddenly I was ashamed of the large bed I had slept in.

A young man approached me, smiling, and asked if I could spare some change. I had given some to the church, I thought. I smiled and walked on. Grieved, I wondered, how do you cope living in a city with so much need? Does it break your heart, because you cannot, or choose not, to give?

I walked on with sorrow and guilt in my heart. Waiting at the next crosswalk, I was aware of someone sitting against the fenced off building site. Then, the angel appeared, disguised as a youngish, ordinary man in casual clothes, with the kindest smile I have seen in a long time. He stopped, bent down and greeted the man, “Hello, my brother, do you want to go and get a coffee?”

I looked at him and smiled my thanks and gratitude. Thanks for doing what I failed to do. Gratitude for teaching me the lesson of gentle kindness.

The angel and his brother crossed the street chatting amiably, deciding which kind of coffee to have and if they could manage a bite to eat.

I continued on my way.

Romans 3:23 New King James Version (NKJV)

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,New King James Version (NKJV)

I learned a great lesson yesterday. I fell short of God’s grace, yet He sent his angel to be a messenger. Probably that beautiful young man didn’t even know he ministered to two lost souls that day as he cared for the physical and emotional needs of one and for my spiritual need.

Father God, thank you for forgiveness.

Lord, thank you for those that minister to others.

Spirit of God, guide and stir me up to the good I should do.