As I read the gospel for this Sunday (All Saints’ Sunday), I can’t stop wondering why. Why did Jesus wait before heading to see his sick friend? Why does he get so emotional at the tomb? Why does he raise Lazarus back to life but not bring back so many other people whose sisters and mothers and brothers and children missed them? Even more foundationally—why death itself? Why?
Preparing for a sermon this Sunday, I am reminded of some funerals I’ve been a part of recently. Although the context—like the readings—changes with each death, the message for the moment is largely the same. We have hope in the midst of loss. More directly, we believe that even death—the representation of our greatest loss—cannot withstand the life-giving power of God as revealed in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Although this Sunday isn’t a funeral, it’s a chance to say the same thing.