retreat in time of sorrow
Based on the story of the death of Lazarus from the Gospel of John, Chapter 11.


Find a quiet space. Sit comfortably, upright. Put aside the thoughts that absorb you. Breathe gently-in-out. Do it again. Close your eyes and remember you are in the presence of God. Call upon the Spirit of God to be with you as you begin speaking to God.


Imagine yourself as a neighbor of Mary and Martha and their brother Lazarus. Lazarus has died and Jesus, their friend has been summoned. Now Jesus is at the tomb where Lazarus is buried. Picture the scene. Mary and Martha are standing close to Jesus. Their relatives and friends are nearby, watching curiously. Lazarus is already buried. But Jesus wanted to go to the tomb. All are mourning the death of their dear friend.

Raising LazarusLook at this beautiful and tender scene. Jesus is weeping. Scripture says: "Jesus wept". Enter into this tender moment. You know what they are experiencing. You have been there. But to see Jesus weeping! He is God. We think he is above human emotions. But no, Jesus is truly human and reacts like us. He knows suffering and hurt and loss. He can understand our pain. He has been there.

Stay with this scene. There are many scenes of Jesus ministering to people in their time of tragedy and sorrow. But when we read JESUS WEPT we learn something profound about him in his time of personal sorrow. He is so completely human. Sometimes we forget how human he is. Jesus "is as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). He ached just as much as you do. He has emotions and deep feelings. He loved and is loved. He had friends and enemies. And the scene at the tomb of Lazarus is a reminder of this tender side.

day one: meditation, continued

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