Chaplain's Corner: A Devotional for the Fifth Sunday in Lent

He said, “Where have you laid him?”  They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”  Jesus began to weep.

This is such a timely reading on this fifth Sunday of Lent in the midst of the trouble that we face with the pandemic.  Here is the story of Lazarus, a dear friend of Jesus, who has died. And even though Jesus knows that Lazarus will live again by the power of the Spirit, Jesus weeps.  Instead of heading straight to the tomb to raise and unbind Lazarus, Jesus stops. And he cries. Jesus allows the reality of the sadness of death to move through him. He weeps as we weep; he shows his humanity and his solidarity with human suffering and loss.

This is where we are right now.  We know that there will be an end to what we face in this moment, that life will be brought back eventually, and that we will rejoice in the healing and restoration of our world.  But right now, we are grieving. We are present to the loss and the pain, and we are hurting. And that is okay.

In fact, we are feeling many things right now.  Part of grieving is anger; part of grieving is worry. It is important to acknowledge our feelings and not to push through them.  It is important to stop and to feel. To allow, as Jesus allowed himself to stop and cry. The healthiest way to move through grief is to acknowledge it, to be with it, and to find meaning in it. Share how you feel with a parent, a friend, or a teacher.  My family has been sending each other funny memes during these difficult weeks, and that has lifted us up, but it is also important to make the space to share our sadness and our worries. Now is the time. Pause. Be real. Name what you feel and share your feelings with those you love.  We are here to support each other, trusting that all will be well in the end, and also being true to the moment in which we find ourselves. Allowing grief does not mean that we lose hope. We grieve because we love, and love is the guiding force of hope, because love is stronger than death, as we will soon be reminded in the season of Easter. 

Let us pray.
Lord Jesus, you know our feelings and you feel our pain.  Give us the peace that passes all understanding and the hope that rises from the darkness.  In the midst of our sadness, grant us your holy presence. Amen.
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