Today is All Saints’ Day, a day we remember the faithful who have died in the past year. For our church, twenty pictures will be shown and twenty names read. With the reading of each name we will remember the grace, faith, and love that each person shared with their life. We will recall how we ministered and witnessed alongside each as well. And we will again celebrate the victory won by each through their saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Today’s reading is the story of Lazarus. Jesus arrives late at the scene – four days after he has died. Mary, Martha, and many family and friends are grieving. Mary voices what many are thinking, “If only you’d arrived sooner.” They believe Jesus could have healed him. Jesus is touched deeply. He cries for his friends and is moved to do something extraordinary. Jesus raises Lazarus to life. Was it to alleviate the intense sadness felt by all? Was it to give a glimpse of the victory to be won over death in Jesus’ resurrection? Was it both?
On this day and in this story we are reminded that Jesus is there with us in our lives. He cried and hurt for his friend Lazarus and for those who grieved for him. In our grief He hurts right along with us as well. We are also reminded that death does not have the last word. For all the saints we recognize today and one day for us as well, Jesus has the power to save. May we too all one day hear, “Well done good and faithful servant” as we each experience Jesus’ victory over death.
Scripture reference: John 11: 32-44