Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Lazarus Unbound

Logan as LazarusYesterday was a Kids in the Kingdom Sunday so kids from preschool through fifth grade were invited to stay after church for songs, games, a Bible story, crafts and lunch. We looked at the story of Jesus bringing his friend Lazarus back from the dead and talked about people we know who have died. We considered how, Jesus wanted us to know that death is not the end, we can have eternal life.

To make this serious lesson fun, we also had a contest with girls and boys on teams seeing who could wrap each person on their team in toilet paper first. Each person was wrapped, and once completely covered they were told "Unbind her (or him) and set her free."

In a sermon on this story I gave this past March, Lazarus Unbound, I said
Gregory completely coveredthe thrust of this passage for me comes in the closing words, “Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’” This statement is, for me, both immanently practical and clearly metaphorical.

First, the practical. Lazarus was prepared for burial. His ankles would have been tied together and his wrist bound in front of him. He would have also had a strap around his chin. Then rather than being wrapped mummy-style, there would have been a large burial sheet under the length of his body that in once piece went up his back over his head and down the front. This shroud would have been further strapped around in place with wrappings. Lazarus was quite literally bound up in his burial clothes.

Beyond the practical, Lazarus was bound to death. Lazarus needed to get separated from the power of death. Yes, he would die again one day, but Lazarus did not have to live under the bondage of death. For each of us without Jesus is bound to death and we need Jesus to unbind us from the power of sin and death....

Jesus is still declaring that death is not the ultimate answer and the grave is not stronger power than the love of God. Jesus calls to you to come out of the grave. Grab hold of the certainty of eternal life. It’s not some distant prospect. You can be unbound right now.


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