In John 11, Mary and Martha have lost their best friend, Lazarus. Lazarus was their beloved brother.
Let’s look at the scripture, John 11: 17-21.
On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18Now Bethany was less than two milesb from Jerusalem, 19and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
Sadness, profound sadness when we love and God calls a loved one home. However, Jesus had earlier told the disciples that this death would serve a purpose.
As we approach thanksgiving, sometimes the loss of a loved one clouds our thankfulness. We lost Doug’s dad two years ago. So now is the time of memories. How can you smile through tears? How do you go on when there is such a loss?
Jesus arrives and he listens to Mary and Martha. Jesus reassured them, “Your brother will rise again” Martha says, “I know he will be part of the resurrection!” Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life, the one who believes in me will have eternal life.” Martha confirmed her belief in Jesus.
Martha and Mary believed in miracles but it was their brother and he was gone. Jesus saw their pain, the shortest verse in the Bible is in John 11. Jesus empathized and the verse says, “Jesus wept.”
The story continues, Jesus tells them to remove the stone.
So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I 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.”
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave-clothes and let him go.”
The dead man came out, his life restored. This was to point us to the fact that Jesus would be resurrected. Mary and Martha had their brother back a time to celebrate. Lazarus is called by name. God knows you by your name.
Although we are two years without my father in law and I lost my mom 37 years ago, there is not a holiday that goes by that we our loved ones are in not in our thoughts. Today I am thankful for memories. I am thankful for Jesus who showed us his compassion. I am thankful for this season. I am thankful for you. I am thankful for James Rockwell and Betty Manley who has given us a legacy of love.
Father God, thank you for our parents. Thank you for our children. Thank you for my extended family. I ask your peace for the person who may be suffering a loss. Let them remember the sweet times. I am in awe of your majesty and grace.
Your turn, I am thankful for……………………