Sunday Worship

 All public worship has been suspended until further notice.

Passion Sunday -John 11.1-45 Lazarus Resurrection

 

Grant, O Lord,

that in the written Word,

and through the spoken Word,

we may behold the living Word

our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

 

“I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord, all who believe in me, even though they die will live and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”

 

Often at funerals, as we are entering into the church these are the first words that are read as the procession makes their way to the front of the church or the chapel. What we don’t say are the words that follow these in the Bible, we don’t say the words, “do you believe this?” At least we don’t say these words explicitly to the people who are gathered, but the question is nevertheless there isn’t it?

Do you believe this?

What do you believe?

 

And for people who are grieving, the questions might also be, “what can you believe right now?” or “what do you need to believe?”

For all of us, the question is there, and particularly as we step ever nearer to Holy Week and Easter. Perhaps it is even harder this year as we make preparations for Easter in a very different way.

 

Both Martha and Mary spoke to Jesus about what they believed

They both said “Lord, if only you had been here. If only you had been here our brother would not have died”. They believed that Jesus could preserve life.

Martha said that she believed in the resurrection on the last day and yet she was also holding on to the hope that Jesus could somehow do something now, could make this situation go away, could defeat death even after it had come. She hoped but did she believe?

 

Martha had signed up to believing in what was taught about resurrection on the last day. This was something that the Jewish people had come to hold onto. Theirs was a history full of disaster and exile and defeat but they were also a people who firmly believed that they were God’s own people and so surely there needed to be something else that God was doing. Surely there needed to be a new life beyond this one, a new world in which God’s people would know freedom, where justice would be seen and God’s love fulfilled. Because it wasn’t happening in the here and now!! They believed in the resurrection at the end of time. Martha believed this already. She was about to experience something quite new.

 

For Mary, she simply wept, surrounded as she was, at the tomb by all the sympathisers who would have been there, who also would have been weeping and even wailing to express their grief.  

As she wept, Jesus wept also, he showed his distress, his grief, his love and then he ordered death to give way to life, “Lazarus”, he commanded, “come out”.

 

I am the Resurrection and the life, says the Lord, all who believe in me, even though they die will live.

 

A promise of all that will be at the end of time but also a statement about what Jesus is doing now. Jesus is the resurrection. The resurrection is present to all those who believe in him.  

Do you believe this?

If this is true what difference does it make to us now?

If resurrection is about being bought from death to life then is it not also about how Jesus brings life to those who have become dead to all that makes life worth living?

To those who have become dead to life through sin having turned away from God’s teaching, or dead to life through selfish ambition so as not to see the needs of others or the feelings of others or when people have become so lacking in hope that they experience what we might call a spiritual death.

Jesus can resurrect people from these deaths also. Knowing Jesus, accepting that everything he did, everything he said and everything he inspired is truth; Life becomes lovely, strong, and full. It is life in abundance. Resurrection has already happened in us because we believe in his ways and his truth, so we are saved from all that holds us prisoner. Our life that is eternal, has already begun.

 

Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life.

This is our life, as we engage in it, and as we discover that we are bought out of the death of all that traps us, we discover that we live. And we live in resurrection truth as well as in resurrection hope.

 

Jesus is a life giver, when people come to believe, they discover that they are alive, given new life and set free.

 

Once again at Easter this year we will have the opportunity to consider what it is we believe about the resurrection and now in these last 2 weeks of Lent that we call passiontide we make ready to celebrate with joy. In order to do that well we need to make the most of this time that we have in the lead up to Easter.

 

This year everything will be different, but perhaps this year we will receive the power of his love and his new life in us with a new understanding, we will certainly come before him with a new need for resurrection hope.

 

Some years ago when I first started training I read somewhere that for people who are new to the Christian faith, it is important for them to start by hearing about the resurrection, it is hope that they need to receive beyond all else.

But then, for the truth of the resurrection to be given its full weight and power, you need to be able to acknowledge death, the end of things. For without death there is no resurrection.

 

I became a Christian 16 years ago and I will never forget what I consider to be my first Easter. The first time that I engaged fully with Holy Week. I attended all the services and events that I could, I went along to the stations of the cross where we walked around the church reading afresh the story of Christ’s passion, I went to see a passion play in the church, I was there on Good Friday in the quiet and the waiting, but it was the service on Maundy Thursday where everything became very real and even personal for me. At the end of the service of Holy Communion the ministers of the church stripped the altar until there was just the wood of the table, nothing else, the lights were turned off, and people left in silence apart from the few who accepted the invitation to stay and pray. The story took on a whole new meaning and reality.

When eventually I left the church that night, I felt as if I had been stripped of all that mattered to me, I felt the agony of waiting on trial, I felt the weight of the cross as I entered into Good Friday. For me that year, the joy and release of resurrection was so very beautiful.

 

This year WE WILL live Easter, but first we will experience Holy Week in a new and deeper way.

 

We will find ways of walking the way of cross and retelling his story.

 

We will live Holy Week so that we can live Easter Sunday and know that Jesus is the resurrection and the life

 

Our life

 

A prayer:

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life, affirm in us the promises you set out before us of resurrection life and resurrection hope. Bless us in our believing and help us in our unbelief.

And this we ask in your precious name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MORNING WORSHIP

TIME

Details

EARLY COMMUNION

8.00 am

Every Sunday

MORNING WORSHIP and JUNIOR CHURCH

9.45 am

Each Sunday of the month there is Anglican or Methodist Communion, except on the 2nd Sunday of the month when there is an All Age Service - "Praise God Together".
Check Church Calendar for exact details    



EVENING WORSHIP

TIME

Details

Evening Worship

6.30pm

Evening Worship is held every Sunday of the month. On the 2nd Sunday (and 5th if there is one) there is Holy Communion.

Check Church Calendar for exact details    

Contact Info

St Faith's Church
Gayton Road
King's Lynn
PE30 4DZ

Tel. 01553 774916

More information on contact page.

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