Why This Week Matters!

Many of us are already focused on Easter. We are making our plans. Planning what we'll do with friends and family and more. But this week, this week that we are in really matters. Don't move too quickly towards Easter forgetting something really important that happened this very week and could happen to you again THIS WEEK!In the Eastern Orthodox church, millions of people are remembering Lazarus, the friend whom Jesus loved but died and was raised to life again. It's called "The Feast of Lazarus" and it's important because the raising of Lazarus foreshadowed the raising of Jesus and Jesus knew it. As Lazarus walked forth from the tomb, Jesus would have looked at this amazing sight thinking something like this:  I will be doing what Lazarus is doing in only a few, short days.Only a week after Lazarus was raised to life, Jesus was in deep trouble. He entered the Passion Week--the week before his death and Lazarus would have been on his heart and his mind. We read in John 12 that Jesus even went back to the home of Lazarus, Mary and Martha and it was there that Mary anointed his feet with the sweet smelling fragrance of perfume and Jesus loved this aromatic comfort because he knew the stench of death was right around the corner.Do yourself a favor this weekend and re-read the story of Lazarus in John 11. It has all the drama of a best selling novel and a block buster movie. It's a story that changed an ordinary man's life into the stuff of transformation! -----------------------Here's the link to the book I wrote on Lazarus two years ago. It is the PREQUEL to The Jesus Life. The last chapter of The Lazarus Life raises the questions that I attempt to answer in The Jesus Life which is now released!http://www.amazon.com/The-Lazarus-Life-Spiritual-Transformation/dp/1434799956/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333108074&sr=8-1 

My Sabbath and Lenten Thoughts

I'm thinking tonight about my friend, Lazarus...my need for this Sabbath day...my Lenten Journey. Let me explain.Finally, I've taken the time to have my sabbath--my time of ceasing. I thought it would never come. My personal rhythm has been sadly interrupted and neglected due to travel, work and choices that have not always been wise or life-giving. So, it's been a life-giving day which included fasting from food in order to re-align my life and get my rule of life back in order. All of the things that I have intentionally chosen to do this Sabbath have helped to refuel my soul and helped what felt dead inside to come back to life. For such is the journey of Lent and when combined with Sabbath makes me glad--yet again to be alive.It's remarkable this week that across much of the Orthodox world, this week is the Feast of Lazarus. Sadly the protestant church has neglected this important story and event in the life of Jesus. Lazarus was actually resurrected a week before the week of Passion that Jesus experienced. He foreshadowed the death and resurrection of Jesus and thus, Jesus knew full well that only in a few days that he, too would experience this scandalous agony and ultimate victory.The Lenten Journey for me this year has forced me to be more mindful--more awake--to what is happening both inside me and around me. I started my Lenten Journey by asking this important question which I blogged about: "What in me that seems dead--needs to come back to life? Now, several weeks into my Lenten Journey I know the answer.It came to me today on my Sabbath walk on the Santa Fe trail. It was a beautiful day here in Colorado. I wore short sleeves on the trail and walked through the wind and it came to me....that which felt most dead.... felt a rumble of a tombstone being slightly--oh, so every slightly back and some light came in.Lazarus... you heard that too--didn't you...the faint sound of the tomb being moved back....yet still asleep in death... you waited for His Voice to all you. He called. You moved. You came to life. So, I too, wait on His Voice.This is my Lenten Journey!Stephen W. SmithPotter's Innwww.pottersinn.com