COME FORTH!

© English Heritage.NMR Reference Number: AA98/04796 Caption: Sir Jacob Epstein's statue of Lazarus in New College Chapel, Oxford.

DID LAZARUS WANT TO COME FORTH? Hadn’t his last enemy been defeated? Didn’t he now know the answers to life’s questions? Wasn’t he now at peace? Where was Lazarus? In the grave? Or in paradise? Well, we’ll have to wait to find out. But at any rate Jesus called him out of the grave.

And when Jesus thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave-clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.  John 11 KJV

And it seems to me that the Divine Voice calls us, too, out from the places of darkness, death and decay into his own marvellous light. A friend has generously invited me to try to contribute something to a forthcoming gathering under the proposed title “Breathing Space” or “Drawing Breath”. There’s a day to be looked forward to!

Out came Lazarus into breathing space. At the word of the Lord this greatly beloved man again draws breath. O dear Lord what a wonderful environment the Church might be for human beings, what a life-giving fountain our experience of Divine presence might be if it really afforded breathing space – if – by your call and by your power we rose up from the places of containment and darkness – and drew breath.

When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain, thy touch can call us back to life again, fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been: Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

from “Now the green blade riseth”  –  JMC Crum

2 thoughts on “COME FORTH!

  1. David: I have now, and am enormously grateful to you for pointing me in Jan’s direction. I’ll be in touch this week about dates …

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