I’ve been thinking a lot about the Bible lately. What it says, who it is written for, what it means.
I’ve taken it more personally too. What does the Bible say to me, what does it mean to me, how exactly was it meant for me?
I’m someone who when I read the Bible I hear little messages. I receive messages and ideas. I have thoughts that I don’t know where they come from. I’m sure this sounds a little weird because I’m not very good at articulating these types of weird things…. But I honestly believe these thoughts, ideas, messages all come from outside of me… call it God, call it the Universe, call it the Divine, call it the Holy Spirit… I don’t know but that’s what it is to me.
After my last post, it occurred to me that I needed to blog/journal my journey over this season. I don’t know how often I’ll do it but I’m going to try to make it a regular thing, probably not daily, but maybe weekly or even a few times a week… we will see.
Anyway, after that post, the Bible called to me. I had a feeling that I needed to do a little journeying through the Bible.
Where do I start?
No, John, I think.
Should I go straight to Holy Week?
Do I start at the beginning?
As I flipped through the book of John, trying to decide where to start, chapter 11 jumped out at me and so I began to read about the death of Lazarus. A very fitting story for Ash Wednesday, even though it is the day after.
As I read it, I couldn’t help but think how it relates to Ash Wednesday so well…
On Ash Wednesday, we look our mortality right in the face. We remember that we came from dust and to dust we shall return.
So as I read about Jesus and his disciples as they talk about Lazarus, I couldn’t help but think about this… mortality.
Lazarus becomes ill and dies. His sisters send for Jesus before his death, hoping that Jesus will come and heal him but Jesus has other plans, plans to use this death to show who he really is, or better yet, plans to show who GOD is and what God can do through him.
When Jesus decides to head back to Judea to go to Lazarus and his sisters, the disciples try to talk him out of it because they say it is too dangerous. There are people who to stone him! And they think him mad for wanting to go back into that.
This made me pause as a thought jumped into my head… “Do I need to go back? Let go of my fear? Speak out? Is there more for me to do?” I don’t feel that there are dangers in my path… at least not like stoning but I do think there are dangers to my mental health, my faith, my family… a very different kind of danger but real all the same.
(Bare with me, I’m just writing as I go and I know, it’s a weird process.)
For me, and I know this isn’t always a popular view point but then, I’ve never been popular, but remembering the human side of Jesus is very important to me. Jesus was human. He was born from a human mother. Yes, I’ll agree he is divine but he IS human and I think he has all the feelings and thoughts of a human too. God came down in human form to live among us, to experience life as we experience it. This is a very important part of MY faith. If it’s not in yours that’s okay, your faith is yours. You can skip this part or this entire blog. My faith is mine.
Anyway, remembering and experiencing Jesus’ humanity is important to me, so in verses 13-15 I can’t help but think of this. I imagine Jesus’ deep sigh and maybe even a little shake of his head and roll of the eye, as he explains that Lazarus is dead and that he is glad he has another opportunity to help the disciples believe.
After all this time with Jesus, witnessing the miracles and hearing his message, the disciples still don’t yet believe as Jesus thinks they should… he continues to go through this with them even through his resurrection. I wonder if I had been there, would be the same? Would I never really get it? Would I have taken so long to believe? I’m kind of glad I wasn’t so that I can learn from their… obtuseness. Lol
Then in verse 16, Thomas says the phrase, “that we may die with him (Lazarus)”… I don’t know if Thomas was speaking metaphorically or not but that’s how I hear it. Is Lent a time for us to die and be reborn again with Jesus on Easter? Yeah, it is.
I think perhaps this just might be the purpose of this particular lenten journey for me… we will see.
Feel free to share your thoughts on this as well. This is my journey, but I don’t mind if you join (obviously, since I’m sharing in a public space) in your own way. I just ask if you share, please be kind and loving. There is enough ugliness in the world and I don’t want to see it on my page. Thanks for respecting me!
Until next time… ♥️