Hunkered Down Devotion

John 11:17-27 (Voice)
17-18 As Jesus was approaching Bethany (which is about two miles east of Jerusalem), He heard that Lazarus had been in the tomb four days. 19 Now many people had come to comfort Mary and Martha as they mourned the loss of their brother. 20 Martha went to meet Jesus when word arrived that He was approaching Bethany, but Mary stayed behind at the house.
Martha: 21 Lord, if You had been with us, my brother would not have died. 22 Even so I still believe that anything You ask of God will be done.
Jesus: 23 Your brother will rise to life.
Martha: 24 I know. He will rise again when everyone is resurrected on the last day.
Jesus: 25 I am the resurrection and the source of all life; those who believe in Me will live even in death. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never truly die. Do you believe this?
Martha: 27 Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Anointed, the Liberating King, God’s own Son who we have heard is coming into the world.


There is no shortage of important elements of what it means to faithfully follow Jesus.  If we take our faith seriously, it should be central to every aspect of our lives, and as such, have a direct impact on who we are, what we believe, and what we do.  Our faith should be a force guiding our beliefs, not just in ‘spiritual’ or religious matters, but in every aspect of our lives.

But many of those things, while important are areas that faithful Christians can disagree on. These can be ‘hot-button’ issues like political affiliation, matters of preference like preferred translation of the Bible, or even the interpretation of various passages of scripture.  

Much of our varied Protestant landscape, with more denominations than anyone can reasonably keep track of, is the result of splits originating around issues of how churches organize and govern themselves.  I often say that I am not a Presbyterian by accident, so I deeply believe that these things matter.  And yet, a uniform response to these questions is not essential to faithful belief in Jesus Christ.

There is, in actuality, only one question that is essential and it is the question we hear Jesus ask Martha in our passage from this morning: 25 I am the resurrection and the source of all life; those who believe in Me will live even in death. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never truly die. Do you believe this?

Do you believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the source of all life?  Do you believe that in and through him we will live even after death?  If you are able to answer yes to this question, it isn’t that nothing else matters – that is inaccurate and a vast oversimplification – but it is this one question, and this question alone that is essential.  

Few of us, in this life, will have the opportunity to respond to Jesus in the course of a conversation as Martha did.  For us, our answer must come in not just what we say we believe, but in how we live.

Sharing God’s Love,
Chip  

Prayer:  Lord, we believe that you are the resurrection and the source of all life.  Help us live in a way that demonstrates that belief.  Amen.  

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