PANDEMIC PRAYERS: CLOSE FRIENDS ON MARCH 27TH 2020
PANDEMIC PRAYERS – CLOSE FRIENDS ON 27TH MARCH 2020
Today in the Anglican Lectionary, the death of Jesus’s close friend, Lazarus is recalled. Martha, Mary and Lazarus were the sort of people with whom Jesus could relax. They challenge me to ask – “could Jesus relax with me?” Make Jesus welcome today as you reflect on these readings.
LUKE 10:38-42 - At the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’
‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’
JOHN 11:1-11 - Now a man named Lazarus was ill, He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.(This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay ill, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.)
So the sisters sent word to Jesus, ‘Lord, the one you love is ill.’ When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘This illness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.’ Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, ‘Let us go back to Judea.’
‘But Rabbi,’ they said, ‘a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?’ Jesus answered, ‘Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the day-time will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.’
After he had said this, he went on to tell them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.’
Martha was always busy; she was taken up with “things”. She saw the needs of others and faithfully served them. While Martha was doing this, Mary was just sitting. She only saw Jesus and was singularly interested in what He was saying.
At the same time Lazarus, who was very sick, was dying. Here is represented a divine balance in our Christian experience, portrayed by two sisters and a brother. They are related, and are not to be separated.Therefore, we should be able to relate, in some measure, to all three.
Each member of this family functioned together
and supplied their particular part.
Martha served, while Mary waited.
When Martha criticized Mary,
Jesus did not tell her to sit down and wait like Mary.
Rather, He said, “Mary has chosen that good part,
which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:40- 42).
Martha was to continue serving, because it is necessary,
and an outworking of her faith in action.
But Mary too had her part to play, in the hospitality of listening.
The “household” in Bethany, which Jesus loved to visit,
is resident within each one of us.
The occupants, two sisters and a brother,
are to fulfill their particular part and function
within each aspect of our own spiritual life experience.
Therefore, we must allow each of these, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus,
to live out their particular part within us to the fullest,
in order to bring us to the highest of our potential.
May I, as a balanced spiritual adult, attract Jesus,
as He seeks for a household to visit.
Then, when He comes into my home,
the “Martha” within me will enable me to serve Him through those in need.
As the “Mary” within me waits at His feet, Jesus will feel heard and welcomed, and make Himself personally known.
And, “Lazarus,” the model of friendship and close relationship with Jesus,
who in Jesus’ hands came to life in a way unimaginable,
so may I too befriend Jesus, and come to life and enlightenment.
Wade Taylor and PHNC.
God our Father, whose Son enjoyed the love of his friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus, in learning, argument and hospitality: may we so rejoice in your love that the world may come to know the depths of your wisdom, the wonder of your compassion, and your power to bring life out of death; through the merits of Jesus Christ, our friend and brother, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
“Urbi et Orbi” - Adoration, Prayer and Blessing - Pope Francis, 5pm today (UK time).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCONID8PEOo – from 4.55pm