So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
John 11: 41-42
A friend and I were swimming earlier this week at Deep Eddy, a popular local watering hole. The spring fed, non-chlorinated pool is beautiful, but in late March 54 degree water is, um cold. We tried every excuse in the book to avoid the arctic plunge, but we perservered that morning. A lap or two into our kick board routine, my friend asked me what I knew about Lazarus. She brought him up in conversation like he was a dinner companion or a work associate. Familar. And, I found myself answering the same.
Oh, Lazarus. Well, you know he was Mary & Martha’s brother. And Jesus visited them in Bethany frequently. They were good friends and Jesus loved Lazarus very much. Familar. Our freezing bodies (remember we are still kick boarding in super cold water) began to warm up and for the next 30 or 40 minutes we talked about Lazarus and the familiar story of how Jesus raised him from the dead. We talked about how different Mary & Martha were yet the sisters shared the same response to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, Lazarus would not have died’.
Eventually, our hour long swim ended and my friend and I went on about our busy lives. But, the story doesn’t end there. The very next morning my kindergarten daughter asked if we were going to be late for chapel at school. I assured her we were right on time and suddenly remembered the chapel story was on, you guessed it – Lazarus. I never look at the chapel schedule so this was a true nudge from the Holy Spirit. I told my six year old daughter the story of Lazarus. And, she heard the good news.
But the story still doesn’t end here. That’s the good news! The gospel is relevant and alive. We worship a living God who is as relevant today as He was 2000 years ago. The miracle is not just that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. The miracle continues through our living God today. His story continues to play out in seemingly insignificant places like freezing cold watering holes and kindergarten chapel.
Where is God’s story playing out in your own life?