Sunday, March 9, 2008

"But... Lord!"

Today's lectionary reading from John 11 tells of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. When Jesus arrived at the tomb, he instructed Lazarus' loved ones to remove the stone which blocked the entrance. "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days."

I recently worked with the elementary-aged kids during worship, talking with them about my recent trip to Argentina, and about world missions in general. As it turned out, I finished what I'd planned a little too early for parents to pick up their kids, but a little late to move on to another planned activity. It's not generally a good idea to give a group that large and diverse an unspecified period of free time in a relatively small space, so we stayed together as a group and kept talking.

One thing led to another in their conversation, and I used a nearby Evange-Cube to share the gospel (or, more accurately, to join them in telling and hearing the gospel story). They made some insightful comments along the way, and asked some great questions. When we got to the part about the stone being rolled away from the tomb (see Mark 16), one of them asked if Jesus smelled bad.

There seemed to be some general confusion among the group about whether that was a great question or an inappropriate one. But, based on further questioning, it looked to me like it came from an honest heart and an engaged mind, and it really did address the issue of genuine physical death and resurrection. And I think the group did well with it.

No comments: