Good Shepherd Lutheran

Answer! – John 11:1-45
When Lazarus lay in that cold, dark tomb, Jesus said: “Unbind him and let him go.” Today as we stand bound by fear of the unknown, Jesus stands before us and says: “Unbind them and let them go.”
It seems appropriate now to look at how we tied ourselves in knots in the first place. On the other side of the fear brought by the pandemic and its dislocations, there was hope. Hope for something new. Hope for something resurrected and reborn. But it’s a hope that’s been unrealized.
The pandemic brought us things like sickness, panic buying, and even death. But it also brought us things like people singing to one another across empty squares and keeping the windows open so that those who were alone could hear the sounds of family around them.
We hoped that those new ways of seeing one another would have changed us. We had the chance to slow down and reflect. We had a chance to see our neighbors in a new way. Instead of walking by them on the street, we stopped, we talked, we checked in on each other to see how everyone was doing. But it was short lived.
Today it seems like instead of taking those positive lessons to heart, we’ve internalized all the negatives. We’re bound by uncertainty over what’s next. Fears of financial dislocation. Distrust of others.
And it’s not just us. It’s a world-wide problem that’s manifested in massive demonstrations, escalations of war and increased violence. On a personal level, conversations have been displaced by angry hurling of painful names and epithets.
But what can we do? How can we unwind the burial clothes that are crippling us and separating us from one another? We need to wake up to what really matters. We need to wake up to love for one another and the love from our Heavenly Father that surrounds us and supports us when everything else seems to be falling apart.
It’s time to do that one thing that’s actually within our control. It’s time to pray and remember that yes, there is fear. But there doesn’t have to be hate. Yes, there is isolation. But there doesn’t have to be loneliness. Yes, there is sometimes selfishness, hunger for power, sickness and even death. But there can always be a rebirth of love and connection if only we’re willing to turn back to our Father and hear Him as he calls us forth to a new life.
We need a resurrection. We need to reawaken to the choices we make about to how to truly live. We need to breathe. And listen, because behind the fear and shouting and the calls to violence, God is still here, right beside us. Surrounding us with his gentle and endless love. He’s calling us to come out of our dark caves of isolation and be reunited with Him. He’s calling us to a new resurrection. So, answer!