lenten journal: second funeral


    The lectionary passage for Sunday is John 11, the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. In these days when the flow of life runs counter to my finding time to write, I chase words like a salmon trying to get upstream. Though the gospel accounts don’t say so, reading it through my eyes it’s easy to imagine Jesus was hindered in getting to his sick friend by the circumstances of his life. That was my starting point for my poem tonight.

    second funeral

    When Jesus got word Lazarus was ill
    he waited two days before he started
    toward Bethany – not that far away.
    You have to assume he had the best
    of intentions, after all he was Jesus.

    I know the story says he was sure
    the sickness wouldn’t get the best
    of his friend, but by the time he got
    there, Lazarus was bound and buried,
    When he got to the grave, Jesus wept,

    then he called Lazarus out of the tomb
    and back into life. The scene might have
    played a little better had they undone
    the bandages before Lazarus woke up.
    We don’t know much else about him –

    how long he lived, or how he felt about
    his reanimation; how could he be the same?
    No one recorded how much longer
    he lived, or how those days played out.
    The part of the story I wish I knew

    was what happened at his second funeral.
    I’ve always assumed he was outlived by
    his sisters (they struck me as stronger),
    so they would have buried him again,
    this time without Jesus, who was gone.

    Some things familiarity can’t soften.



    1. One thing is sure – even if we get resurrected/reanimated, the death rate is still 100% (except maybe for Enoch, Elijah, and those still alive at the Second Coming).

    2. I always wondered about this as well.

      Death is a mystery. I’ve come to view it as exchanging your human suit for a different one. Though when it is my turn I may revert to type.

      Lazarus will be a great story to find out when we’re there. Better than the next episode of “Lost”

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