All Saints Day is a time set aside in the life of the church to honor those who died, especially those who died in the previous year.
As we have seen this week with the killings in Pittsburgh and Louisville, death is a disruptive force that changes lives. For the living, death produces a full range of human emotions: grief, anger, and even joy.
Jesus came to earth, both as fully human and fully God. We see these attributes in full display as Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead (John 11:32-44).
Martha is angry at Jesus for not coming sooner to save her brother. When Jesus arrives four days after the death of Lazarus, he is moved to tears, as humans often are, when dealing with death.
The Gospel account in John 11:35 simply says, “Jesus Wept.” The narrative continues in verse 36 with the bystanders saying they could see how much Jesus loved Lazarus.
In the midst of this most human of moments, as Jesus mourns the death of a love one, Christ is fully God. The Lord challenges Martha’s faith by asking, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?”
Jesus then calls on God for power, as he calls Lazarus from the grave. Lazarus responds to Jesus’ voice as he walks out of the cave which was his tomb. He comes forth, bound with the strips of clothes placed on the dead. Jesus makes another call, this one to the living; He told them to unwrap Lazarus and let him go.
On this All Saints Sunday, we remember the long line of faithful ones who have come before us. As we honor and treasure them, let us act, in the command of Jesus that we live unwrapped lives.
- Jesus calls us to be unwrapped from the sin that bound us up from living the full lives that God intended for us.
- Jesus calls us to be unwrapped from the fear, the sadness, the loneliness and the grief caused by life and death that keeps us from the joy that God has for us.
-Jesus calls us to unwrap the potential in our lives.
Voting is one the ways we can unwrap our potential. We can use our unwrapped vote to remove from office those who have enable this corrupt, deceitful and un-American, American President.
For when we unwrap the vote, and use it to elect Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams, as Governors in Florida and Georgia. We do so not because they are black candidates but because they are the best candidates.
When we unwrap the vote, we do it not only to honor those who died to give us the right to vote, but also to defeat people such as the man in Georgia who schemed and plotted from the office of Secretary of State to keep our votes wrapped up.
Remember Jesus told Martha, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” Saints, there is no telling what God can do if we believe and live unwrapped lives. For Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”
The Marben Bland Podcast is now on www.marbenbland.com