March 23, 2023
for Sunday, Mar. 26
Exekiel 37: 1-14-7
John 11:1 45
This is an incredible, amazing text of scripture. However, it’s also puzzling. There are some phrases and ideas that are absolute head-scratchers. Let’s touch on those briefly. First, why did Jesus stay where he was two more days when he had heard of Lazarus’ illness? Jesus said the illness was for God's glory. Was God simply using Lazarus as an illustration? What do you think?
Something I find interesting is that both Martha, and Mary greet Jesus with the same words, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Fascinating. They absolutely knew and believed in Jesus’ power to heal Lazarus, but raising someone from the dead is another thing altogether. The sisters thought he should have just gotten there earlier.
But Jesus doesn’t simply bring health and life with him wherever he goes, he is life. He doesn’t just carry it around here and there. His presence is it. Lazarus’ sisters had put off their hope of resurrection until the end. They certainly didn’t expect Jesus’ messiah-ish powers to include raising someone from the dead in the present.
Jesus’ final words and instructions in this passage are “Unbind him, and let him go.” This is how Jesus commissions us, “Unbind [them], and let [them] go.” Who are the “them” for us? Are they the homeless, those imprisoned by drugs or alcohol, the working poor? It could include any number of people that are bound in some way. We are called in the life of Christ to set free all who are bound by whatever they are bound. Martin Luther wrote in The Small Catechism concerning the second article of the creed, on redemption:
“He has purchased and freed me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver but with his holy, precious blood and with his innocent suffering and death.”
Let us set each other free with this proclamation!
1Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. 3So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, 6after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
7Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. 10 But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” 11 After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” 12The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” 13Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. 14Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” 23Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”
28 When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. 30Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When 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. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But 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.” 43 When 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.”
45Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.
• For our community of faith as we seek to do God’s work in the world.
• For people affected by coronavirus, their families, essential workers, doctors, nurses, aides, those working in nursing homes, etc.
• For Kay Marker Magneson, Roy Pihl, George Balcom, Trudy Fetzner, Thom Shagla, Alan Anderson, Desmond Drischell, Vince Alessi, Norm Wolff, Sarah VanStaalduin, Charlene Hunter, Joe Gauvin, Emerson Allaby, Karen Brown, Tom West, John Gingrass, those serving in the military and law enforcement and their families, including Christine Kaffka and Ben Wickerham, those caught up in violence and war who have no safe home in which to live.
• For all children, that the love of Christ may reach them through all of us who have resources to love, protect, pray and provide for them.
Names will remain of the Prayer List for a month - at which
time it will be taken off unless, or course, there is still a continued need
for our prayers and we’re asked to keep the name on.
Sunday, March 26 - Worship 10:00 am
Bible Study following worship
March 27 & March 29 Healthy Bones 9 a
March 30 Tai Chi 9:30 am ad 12:00 pm
March 30 Choir 5:00 pm
Lenten Program 6 pm
If you would like to order an Easter Lily for our Sanctuary, in memory or in honor of a loved one, please complete the form and place it in the offering plate by March 26. Price is $12.00.
Please include payment with your order.
Lenten Midweek Gatherings
We will be gathering at 6 pm on Thursdays during Lent. The theme is “Making Change.”
Change is hard. We long for the expected and familiar, but all too often find ourselves in the midst of uncertainty and the unknown. We cannot predict how things will turn out... God’s steadfast love [is proclaimed] in the midst of life’s inevitable changes: “All my hope on God is founded who will all my trust renew, who through change and chance will guide me, only good and only true. God unknown, God alone, call my heart to be thine own” (ELW 757, All My Hope on God is Founded). (Sundaysandseasons.com)
We have experienced a lot of change in the last few years: COVID, deaths of precious congregants and so much else. Join us for this series. We will also have a bite to eat together.
Come feed your body and spirit!
On the five Sundays of Lent, please join your St. Timothy church family immediately following worship, for a Lenten Bible Study 40 Days of Giving.
#5 March 26 – Psalm 130 “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and I [God’s] word I hope.” Ps 130:5
At noon at First Lutheran in Jamestown,
there is a brief service followed by a light
lunch for $7.
The overall theme is Turning Toward God’s Abundance.
Week 5 – March 29, Love
Preacher/Leader: Rob Allport-Cohoon
Gospel: John 12:1-8 Mary anoints Jesus
5 Loaves & 2 Fish Backpack Ministry
We are well into our routine each month packing 380 bags of food to be distributed to our elementary students. We can always use more hands, so if you're able to give an hour once a month, we can use you.
3rd Tuesday of the month
Click this link to volunteer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fighting childhood hunger in our community one child at a time!
5 & 2 Ministry Food Bins Donated to Date: 108
ONLINE GIVING at St. Timothy for Debit/Credit cards
Three ways to give:
- Go directly to our website at www.sttimothybemus.com.
- Use our QR code with the QR reader on your smartphone.
- Download the app ‘GivePlus Church’. Create an account.
For further information, see Kathy Carlson on Sundays or
call her at 485-1316.
¨ Mailing in your weekly or monthly offering would be greatly
Lutherans Restoring Creation
One way in which ELCA congregations demonstrate love for our world is by caring for God’s creation. Our actions impact our neighbors and the environment, locally and globally, in the present and in the future. Join the Actions Speak Loudly! initiative to share how your congregation is caring for creation and to learn how others are participating in this movement. Visit www.LutheransRestoringCreation.org for resources or join the effort by completing this form: bit.ly/LRCActionPlan.
Stories of Faith in Action
Across the ELCA we are connected through the stories we tell, the stories we hear and the stories we experience in ministry among one another. “Stories of Faith in Action” features vital ministries made possible by the generous Mission Support shared by ELCA congregations. This Mission Support is available because of the faith-filled regular offerings that individuals give to their congregations. Learn about leaders who step out in faith to try something new, and people who open their arms and their hearts to meet people in new places. Read “Stories of Faith in Action” at LivingLutheran.org/SOFIA.
SUMMER INFORMATION & JOBS
LAKE CHAUTAUQUA LUTHERAN CENTER
Dear Colleagues -
It is an honor and a joy to serve as the newly appointed Interim Executive Director at Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Center for this coming summer and fall.
Youth Camp, Confirmation Camp, Sailing Camp...Campfires and Climbing towers...Swimming, Sailing and Kayaking... are just a part of the exciting summer ahead!
I'm reaching out to let you know that your help is needed...in two ways:
1. SUMMER STAFFING NEEDS
*Counselors (College students or older with at least one year out of high school): Salary plus Room & Board.
- PLEASE SEE ATTACHED JOB DESCRIPTION/INFORMATION
*Nurses (RN): WiIling to volunteer either of the following weeks:
- (Room & Board provided for the nurse and their spouse.)
1. July 16 -21
2. July 30 - August 4
2. CAMPERS NEEDED
THIS IS THE MONTH to include information about LCLC in your church newsletters and bulletins...to have LCLC summer camp brochures/registration forms available in your church narthex and on bulletin boards....and to encourage the children, youth and families in your congregation to consider exploring their faith in beautiful part of God's creation.
*Early Bird Discount for Registration is available until April 1st.
*Camperships available! LCLC continues its pledge to never turn a child away due to financial need. Applying for assistance can be as simple as a phone call and a conversation. Please let us know how we can help.
*Additional Summer Camp brochures can be mailed to you. Email: email@example.com
My thanks...for your assistance, prayers and support on behalf of this great outdoor ministry we share.
The Rev. Gail Swanson
Interim Executive Director
Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Center
5013 Route 430
Bemus Point, NY 14712
Camp Office: 716.386.4125
Pastor Gail's Cell: 614.477.7863