All Saints’ Day 2012 – Unbind him and let him go

No. 25 Scenes from the Life of Christ: 9. Raising of Lazarus
1304-06
Fresco, 200 x 185 cm
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

Isaiah 25:6-9

6On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. 7And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever. 8Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.

Psalm 24:1-10

1The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it;
3Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?
5They will receive blessing from the Lord, and vindication from the God of their salvation.
7Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.
9Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.

Revelation 21:1-6a

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; 4he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”5And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.”6Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.”

John 11:32-44

33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”35Jesus began to weep. 36So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”37But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”38Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.”40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me.42I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • Allow the breath to open you and free you.
  • Roll your shoulders back, opening your chest to accept the breath fully.
  • Recognize the breath of air we share that enlivens you.
  • Recognize the connection of you with the earth.
  • Recognize the connection of you with your neighbor.
  • Recognize the connection of you with the world.
  • Rest in this connection.
  • Be open to the thinness of space between life and death as you remember friends and loved ones who have died this past year.
  • Hear their laughter. Smell their perfume. See their love.  Be touched as you remember.
  • What story stands out for you today?
  • Allow this story to unbind you from death.
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.  Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Thursday, November 1, 2012, All Saints’ Day, Year B

Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 24:1-10
Revelation 21:1-6a
John 11:32-44

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

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