Luke 11 — Raising Lazarus
A life (and death) event. Neighbors. Paparazzi. Curious bystanders.

We know what that feels like. We have rituals and language for those events.

But more often we find ourselves in the ordinary tension, the spaces in between big moments,
anonymous or closer to home with those we know well. (Luke 12)

TWO POSTURES

Reclining at the table
(Exodus 13) “The Lord brought us around and out of Egypt”
Seder tradition, even during the Holocaust. Freedom
This party is in honor of Jesus.
Lazarus and all the guests are reclining at the table.
Martha is serving a celebration of life, resurrection,
the here and now.

Washing the feet of another
This party is in honor of Jesus.
Mary sat at Jesus’ feet,
close enough to wash anointing Jesus for
burial and for the throne.
The posture is feminine, the role for slaves.
But Jesus will. (The Last Supper)
Bodies given away for each other.

Oh, the things we never thought we’d do for another, but then, because of the love, because of the relationships and tension and bodies, we can’t imagine doing anything else. Time stops. Or changes. Holding a sleeping baby. Carrying conversation with Alzheimer’s in the mix. Keeping vigil in the ICU. This is God’s time breaking into human time, declaring the ordinary extraordinary.

A Christian person is the most free lord of all and subject to no one. And a Christian person is also the most faithful servant of all and subject to everyone.
— Martin Luther (Freedom of a Christian)

We are feasting and free, reclining like nobles, autonomous and wild, unbound and alive for the here and now!

And we are like slaves called to tend the wounds of the world, to bear witness to the intimacies of vulnerability and death, to be tender and extravagant and giving ourselves away.

Resisting the sacred dimensions of this call sounds a lot like Judas, quick to notice problems and protect the purse.

This is the dance and tension of already and not yet, the necessary, the messy, the holy. These postures are made for each other and belong at the same party where our bodies can practice being more fully who we are.

The grace of God means something like: “Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are, because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you.”
— Fredrick Buechner