Divine Coincidence

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.”
                                                  Romans 8:11

April 10 marks two years since my mother’s death.  The irony of this second anniversary is that it falls on the fifth Sunday of Lent in Year A and the lectionary readings all have to do with death, resurrection and hope.  We hear in the Old Testament reading from Ezekiel the fascinating story of the valley of the dry bones (Ez. 37:1 – 14).  The Psalm makes a passionate appeal to God, “Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; O LORD hear my voice (Psalm 130).  The epistle is Paul’s letter to the Romans assuring us of the benefits of having God’s Spirit dwelling in us (Romans 8:6 – 11).  And the Gospel of John narrates Jesus’ raising of Lazarus (John 11:1 – 45).

In  my sermon today, I relived the emotion of that final day of my mother’s life.  It isn’t often that I make a sermon so personal but it was unavoidable as far as I was concerned.  To have not mentioned it would have made it just words.  We ended the liturgy today with “Abide With Me,” and it took every ounce of self-control to hold myself together. 

It is in times like these that I miss my mother so much.

Published by pastorallende

Retired Bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Social justice and immigration reform advocate. Micah 6:8. Fluent in English and Spanish. I enjoy music and sports.

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