Sermon: “Jesus Wept”
Presented at ARK Community Church in Dalton, MA
April 6, 2014 (Fifth Sunday of Lent)
This morning’s reading from Ezekiel 37, and our Gospel reading from John 11, are parallel stories. They both deal with the same issues, are presented in similar ways, and both demonstrate how utterly powerless we are in the face of death and darkness: readings we do well to consider on this, the last Sunday in Lent before Palm Sunday.
Let us pray…
Lord God, we ask that your Holy Spirit fill each and every one of us here this morning. Open the scriptures before us, and enable me to clearly communicate what you intend for us to receive here today. Make your gospel come alive within each and every one of us, driving all darkness from our hearts.
We rejoice in this opportunity to encounter new revelations and a deeper understanding of your unconditional, living, infinite love; and we ask that we be amazed and transformed by that love. Help us to embody your gospel, and to live it, in all that we do, think, speak, and are; both individually and jointly, as members of this congregation which stands before you as a portion of the Body of Believers who share your Gospel with their neighbors in this community.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
Both of our readings this morning deal with dark times, placing us within the narrative of those who have lost all hope, those who have nothing whatsoever left, and see nothing in their future.
We all have such valleys of darkness in our lives, times when the walls close in, times when the way forward is not just unclear, but entirely nonexistent. Times when we cannot see beyond that dark horizon that we cannot penetrate; times when all hope dies and death itself seems all too near at hand, or perhaps not near enough.