Lazarus

I made a decision to try to join my local church. It’s Alice’s church. I’ve been taking a new member’s class for the past 6 weeks or so and now next week I’m supposed to “graduate”. I have to profess my faith to the church elders at the end of class this Sunday and then in front of the congregation the Sunday following Easter. It requires me to pledge my love for Jesus and my belief in eternal life, etc. I’m going through with it even though I don’t believe all this stuff 100%. I’m willing to accept that there is a God but I have a little trouble with the idea of heaven. I just don’t believe that all my dead loved ones are up there hanging out together shooting the breeze. I am also supposed to pledge my acceptance of the old and new testament as the ultimate rule in faith and in life. I can deal with the faith part but the life part, I’m not so sure. It depends on who is doing the reading/interpreting I guess. I want to join this church because I want to join this community. I admire a lot of the things that they do for the community and I want to support that. I want to understand the religion and the beliefs better. I want to make room for God in my life. I’ve accepted that I need help in dealing with everything in my life. I can’t do it alone anymore. If Jesus can help me, I’m willing to try. I’m always thinking about my brother when I’m there. He’d hate all this. He got so lost somehow and I wonder why God wasn’t there for him when he needed it most? Was that because he wasn’t a believer? I thought that God was supposed to love us all unconditionally?
Last Sunday was the 5th Sunday of Lent and so the lesson was from John 11:1-45 which is the story of Lazarus. I decided to read the passage during the musical prelude because I had gotten there a little early and as I made my way through the passage I started crying. In the story Jesus is not far from where Lazarus lives. Yet, when Lazarus’ sisters send word to Jesus that he should come because their brother is ill, Jesus does not come right away. He only gets there after Lazarus has died from his illness. Lazarus’ sisters both say to Jesus, “Lord if you were only here my brother would not have died”. I guess that one of the reasons that I’m going to church now is to find out where God was when my brother was deciding to do this horrible thing. How could God leave him so alone? I can accept that he was in the prescence of God once he died but I’d rather have him here with us. I’ve been really missing him lately. Jesus tells the sisters that he didn’t save their brother beforehand because he wanted them to believe in eternal life through him. Then he goes ahead and resurrects Lazarus anyway to prove to the gathered crowd that he truly was sent by God to save them all. I’m sure that Martha and Mary were both very happy to have their brother Lazarus back again, even though he was already several days dead and a little smelly.
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