John 11: 1-44
A quick note about today: My prayer prompt comes from the story in John of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. A range of emotion fills this story.
Though today is Wednesday of Holy Week, and according to the Gospel of Mark, on this day Jesus is at Bethany with his friends; at the home of Simon the leper. Interesting this unintentional common point between the two readings for today - different homes, different stories - same place (Bethany) and common thread of the anointing of oil in preparation for Jesus' burial. John 11: 1-44 mentions it and says that it is Mary, sister of Lazarus who anointed Jesus. Mark's account credits this act of extravagant love to a woman whose name we do not know. And he tells his disciples that, because of this, she will be remembered forever.
God, how many times did Jesus weep for Jerusalem? For his beloved city and beloved people? For the ways that power and wealth was abusing and ruling the poor and the common? For the way so many were desperately trying to remain faithful while others were giving up and giving in. How strikingly similar his world is to ours. How many times does he weep?
God, what did the laughter of our Savior sound like? Was it high-pitched and sharp or a deep chuckle that rolled up and out from his belly? Did he laugh and make snide remarks about the absurdity of all he saw? Of all that was taking place?
When his closest friends denied, or betrayed, or died, how many times did Jesus laugh at the memories and weep in sorrow for his loss?
He showed us how to love. And we forget or refuse to laugh out loud at the joy of life; the gifts that cost nothing but our time, our energy, our care.
He showed us how to love. And we seldom weep for the state of the world we love. For our Jerusalem - whatever it might be.
Because, (we've been told, or we tell ourselves) to cry is to show weakness. To cry is to be vulnerable and we should never be vulnerable. To cry is to lose control of the situation.
And Jesus wept for his dear friend.
Lord, forgive us. Father, have mercy. Lord forgive us all.