Bishop Ward uses the lectionary texts for the fifth Sunday in Lent to remind us that the darkness of Lent and the journey to the cross is met with the light of triumph at Easter, when death is defeated and life is renewed.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
On the fifth Sunday in Lent, very soon, we find marvelous text appointed for us. First from Ezekiel the prophet, dry bones, clattering as flesh comes upon them as the Spirit breathes upon them. Life, where there was only death.
Psalm 130, “If you should mark iniquity, O Lord who could stand, but there is forgiveness with you that you may be feared. We watch for the morning.”
From the Gospel of John, the story of Lazarus who has died. His weeping sisters greet Jesus. Jesus weeps with them for Lazarus was his dear friend, Jesus says “I am the resurrection and the life.”
Here in the midst of Lent, we know our great need for God. All of these texts name the reality of death and darkness. As we experience these texts, we hear the strong word of Jesus in our midst. God gives life in the most difficult of places.
Mary and Martha in dialogue with Jesus say, “If you had been here Lord, our brother would not have died.” Jesus says to them, “You will see the glory of God.” During Lent, we are courageous to face darkness, to name the reality of death, to engage the broken, troubled places in our world. We do so with the confidence that even in these places God is present. Even with broken hearts, we know that God’s glory will be revealed. The journey of Lent is a journey into the darkness so that the light of Easter dawns upon us.
May your Lenten journey be deeply meaningful as you experience the reality of all that God comes to redeem.