Everyone needs people to cheer for them, to lift signs with "10" on them for them, to be generous in their honor, to write notes of encouragement to them, to decorate for them, to support them and, especially, to be there for them. Unfortunately, not everyone gets enough of that.
I'm grateful for all of that and more that I received this week. I am overwhelmed by the Central and community friends who helped The School Foundation and encouraged Katelyn and me through the Dancing For Our Future Stars event. We came in a very close 2nd in the entertainment competition and a very close 2nd in overall financial giving and we had a lot of fun doing it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
There are fun nights and events when people show their support and there are difficult events in people's lives when support is also greatly needed. Our gospel lesson for this Sunday shares one of those times. While Jesus' divinity certainly shines through, we can very easily relate to the humanity of the story.
Martha and Mary's brother Lazarus is gravely ill. They send for Jesus, in whom they place great hope, but who is delayed in arriving. By the time Jesus arrives, Lazarus has been dead 4 days and is in the tomb.
Jesus has great compassion. "When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved...Jesus began to weep" (John 11:33, 35).
Jesus is present and the heartache of others hurts his heart, even when he knows the good outcome ahead. Others were present and hurting for Mary and Martha, too. Everyone needs people to be there for them.
It's worth taking the time to read the full story before Sunday (John 11:1-45). Each of our services has been designed around this powerful story of people's hurt, Jesus' compassion, and Jesus' power over death. I hope you'll be with us.