Fifth Sunday in Lent

April 2, 2017

Repent, Rebirth, Reconcile, Rejoice, Redemption, Restore

Scripture References:

Ezekiel 37:1-14
Therefore prophesy, and say to them, “Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act,” says the Lord.

Psalm 130 (5-8)
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem. It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

Romans 8:6-11 (6)
To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

John 11:1-45 (31-37,43-45)
The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

When he (Jesus) had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

Tomb

To Dream as God Dreams
By Porter Taylor
“Look—Weep—Live”

And here’s the good news: love brings life out of death. If we are willing to go to the cross and not run away to weep at the tomb, the love brings forth resurrected life.

Jesus cries out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” And he comes. He comes bound in strips of cloth…Lazarus comes out because he hears the voice of love calling him. Maybe this story is not about something Jesus does to Lazarus, but something Jesus does with Lazarus, as Barbara Brown Taylor writes in God in Pain. Love is what calls us out of death into new life…Love brings us into resurrection—new life—different life.

Saved By His Life
By Theodore R. Clark

Jesus taught that anyone seeking forgiveness in humility and sincerity could experience the forgiveness of God. He always taught that the forgiveness of God was spontaneous and direct to anyone seeking pardon for wrongs committed. He always stressed that God’s only “demand” was that He be permitted to “give” to those who would come in repentance and humility to His “throne of grace.” However, he did not picture God as a passive pouting potentate who waits for repentant subjects to come crawling before Him begging for forgiveness; rather, he pictured God as the heavenly Father who comes to sinful man, seeking him out and offering forgiveness to him. In other words, God’s forgiveness is not “demand” but “gift.” God’s forgiveness is a liberating and creating power offered to men of faith. God’s forgiveness cannot be bought; it can only be experienced through faith and love.

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I Dare You to Move
Songwriter, Jonathan Foreman

Chorus: I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

Verse 2: Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
The tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be

Bridge: Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here

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