Saints

John 11:32-44

Lazarus raised from the dead. Do we truly understand it? Can we fathom the mystery? Just listen to his sisters. Jesus, if you had been here our brother wouldn't have died. Isn't this the statement we all wrestle with as Job has and come out wanting to understand more?

God, Jesus seems to be this far away good fairy who grants us all the good things in life. When it doesn't work out, when it seems as though someone died too soon, too young, had lived too well we are turned around to the question of where are you now God? Why couldn't you heal Jesus? 

Today we commemorate All Saints' Day. It isn't a day in which we receive answers to our struggles about a good God stepping in and releasing us from the struggles of life. It is about holding all of it in a piece of the divine mystery. Lazarus is not raised to provide for these sisters, Lazarus is not raised because it makes a good story, Lazarus isn't raised because he and Jesus were great pals. Lazarus is raised as a foreshadowing of Jesus own death, as a foreshadowing of our own death. Because we are the people of resurrection. Everything in our church songs of this. 

Just look around you. Today is not the green of ordinary time, today is the festive color of white, Christmas, Easter,  birth and death all wrapped into one. This is a part of All Saints'. Paschal candle, water in the font death and life all rolled into the spiritual mystery of one day. Pictures of our loved one, saints who have died and are alive in pictures, all but our babe Harper who never breathed in this world. Life and death all placed together side by side. 

This is the hard ground of the world we live in and yet, somehow we are a people of hope, we are a people of rebirth, we are a people of resurrection. There is a place in our burial service which says it best, "All we go down to the dust; yet even at the grave we make our song:  Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia." It is our belief in something more, in our own raising from the grave transformed to live in Gods kingdom. 

This is not because wrestling with the hard questions of life becomes easy and we don't. It is not because our saints' are perfect or we are perfect. It is because we are broken, we are wrestling, we are trying to understand God more deeply and fully that we celebrate this day. A day where we remember in spite of our weeping, in spite of our brokenness, in spite of our imperfections we are all saints'. Lazarus just reminds us that when we are called out "Come out" we are God's and to God we return.