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A Kind and Gentle Man

I am the Resurrection
Ezekiel 37:12-14; Psalm 130:1-8; Romans 8:8-11; John 11:1-45

Sermon Week Fifth Sunday of Lent Cycle A

Scripture Summary John 11:25

Some years ago, the widely read author and theologian Henri Nouwen wrote about a man named Bob, the husband of a friend of his who died suddenly of a heart attack. Nouwen writes, "My friend decided to keep her two young children away from the funeral. She thought it would be too hard for them to see their father put in the ground. For years after Bob's death, the cemetery remained a fearful and dangerous place for them. One day my friend asked me to visit the grave with her and invited the children to come along. The older one was too afraid to go, but the younger one decided to come with us.

"When we came to the place where Bob was buried, the three of us sat down on the grass around the stone engraved with the words A KIND AND GENTLE MAN. I said, 'maybe one day we should have a picnic here. This is not only a place to think about death but also a place to rejoice in our life. Bob will be most honored when we find new strength here to live.'

"At first it seemed a strange idea having a meal on top of a tombstone. But isn't that like what Jesus told his disciples to do when he asked them to share bread and wine in his memory?

"A few days later, my friend took her elder child to the grave, the younger one having convinced his sister that there was nothing to fear. Now they often go to the cemetery and tell each other stories about Bob."

"I tell you solemnly," Jesus said to His disciples, "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain. But if it dies, it yields a rich harvest" (Jn. 12:24).

In this little parable, Jesus is alluding to God's Resurrection Power. Soon He would be crucified. Soon He would hit bottom. Soon He would die, but by the Resurrection Power of God, He would rise again. And therefore, we live in abiding hope of our own resurrection.

In the [...]


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