November 1, 2018
for Sunday, Nov. 5
Pastor Ivy Gauvin
There are two things that stand out for me in this passage from John’s gospel. I think of them as one of those big two-pronged forks we use in carving meat. In this case, they help us understand the meat of God’s word. The first is in verse 35, “Jesus began to weep.” Now there are all kinds of ideas as to why John included this and what it means. Some say it shows Jesus’ emotional side and his close relationship to Lazarus and his family. After all, the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But in John’s gospel, it is this group that opposes Jesus and so why would we look for understanding of Jesus’ words from them?
Others note that the surrounding verses show Jesus’ anger, whether it was at the lack of faith of Mary or was it because of the Jews, who in this case were professional weepers, who were not necessarily invested in the life of the family? Was it this hypocrisy that made Jesus weep? Ultimately, we do not know, but what we do know is that Jesus loved and cared very much about Lazarus and his family.
Jesus cares very deeply about us as well, even in the middle of division, hardship, ugly public discourse, illness—you name it. Our loving Lord cries with us. God was there in Pittsburgh as worshippers were shot, God is with those going to the Mexican border, longing for freedom, God is with the hungry. Jesus was not simply a miracle worker, but a real flesh and blood person who laid down his life for his friends.
The second prong involves the final words of this gospel text. Jesus tells the people standing around who had observed the miracle of Lazarus being restored to life, “Unbind him, and let him go” (v. 44). God has worked in our lives, setting us free from “sin, death and the power of the devil” (Luther’s Small Catechism). That’s great. We’re all set, but what about our neighbors? What about those on the margins of our society? Jesus speaks to us as he did to the crowd, “Unbind [them], and let [them] go.” This Sunday we will do this through the Auction for the Honduras mission. We do this when we give to the 5 and 2 Ministry and in any other way that we share the love of Christ with all we meet.
32When 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.” 33When 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. 36So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37But 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.” 43When 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.”
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.
*** Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday at 2:00 am; before retiring to bed this Saturday night, change your clocks back one hour.
*** The Honduras Mission Project Live Auction and Chinese Auction at St. Timothy Lutheran Church is this Sunday, November 4. Dinner at 5:00 pm-choice of pulled chicken sandwich or chili, and salad, beverage and dessert for $6.00 donation. You may also come at that time to view the auction items. The live auction begins at 6:00 pm. We welcome donations of gift certificates and new or gently used items and pre-filled baskets. For more information, contact Gale Svenson-Campbell at 715-753-6319 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
***St. Timothy’s commitment to 5 Loaves and 2 Fishes Ministry has increased and we are VERY excited about it. Not only will we be collecting food to send home on Fridays with elementary children in Bemus Point, the GA Home, Clymer and Sherman, we will now be PACKING those bags that go into our student’s backpacks! We will officially become a Distribution Site beginning December 11 at St. Timothy. All food collected here will now stay here to be packed and we’re in the process of getting ready for the big event - including shelving. Industrial strength shelving has been ordered and will arrive next week to store our inventory. If anyone feels moved to help defray the cost of this shelving, it would be greatly appreciated. Just mark 5 & 2 shelving in the memo line. STAY TUNED FOR MORE INFORMATION IN NOVEMBER! Fighting childhood hunger one student at a time in our community.
***5 & 2 Ministry Food Bins Donated to Date: 36
***ONLINE GIVING now available at St. Timothy for Debit/Credit cards. 3 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.
THANKSGIVING FOOD BASKET COLLECTION
The Evangelism Committee and our congregation, along with the Bemus Point United Methodist Church, will again this year be delivering food baskets to our community for the Thanksgiving holiday. Last year, 27 baskets were given out to our friends who needed assistance. Our drive will be through Sunday, November 11th; we ask every contribute to this need.
St. Timothy Lutheran Church will be providing: cranberry sauce, canned turkey gravy, instant mashed potatoes, stuffing mix, canned sweet potatoes and pickles. The Methodist Church will provide the turkeys.
Please help fill the trunk of my car and let’s spread God’s love to our neighbors and friends. Remember – I love to shop so monetary donations are greatly appreciated - see Marty Hunt. Thank you in advance!
· For our community of faith as we seek to do God’s work in the world.
· For those in our congregation and community who suffer silently with illness, financial burdens, and family obligation.
· For victims of violence and their families in all places
· For victims of wildfires, flooding and earthquakes.
· For: The Kibbe family, Marisa Hammerquist (P. Ivy daughter-in-law), Beverly Klang, Carolyn Wickerham, Trudy Fetzner, Dan Kelly, Dan Caruso, Arden Johnson, Thom Shagla, Matt Isaacson, Sarah Van Staalduinen, Richard Starks, Mabel Tranum, Ilene Chiotti, Bryan Brown, Craig Jackson, Marty Maxwell, Debbie Stearns, Jim Doherty, Karen Brown, Ross Gardner, Bonnie Christoferson, Zachary Stewart, Al Lamb, Scott Stearns and Zachary Frazier.
· For people serving in the military, including Ben Wickerham, and their families, those caught up in persecution, violence and war.
· 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.
· For: The ELCZ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwa and ELCZa Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia.