Darkness, stillness, quiet. Everything is peaceful, but everything is dark. Shrouded in darkness he lay there, serene, quiet, but dark. Suddenly there’s a blinding flash of light. The darkness is cleaved by a light that he had never seen before, brilliant, blinding, filling all space. Then he hears a call in the distance, breaking the still and quiet that he was growing accustomed to. He hears the call again then realizes that someone is calling his name. He struggles into the light, hearing a voice, the voice, cry, “Lazarus, come out.” He struggles farther into the light until he hears the voice say, “untie him and let him go.” Suddenly Lazarus finds himself free from the bonds of death, free to live again, free of the tomb. How disorienting for him must this have been! Pulled into the light by Christ, pulled into the light of Christ, Lazarus once again walks among the living. I wonder how he approached this new life, surely he was grateful, hopefully he appreciated not only being alive again, but life itself. He must have seen things differently. He must have appreciated the light.
We share much in common with Lazarus, for we too find ourselves shrouded in darkness, a darkness of our own making. We find ourselves entombed by our selfishness. We find ourselves entombed by our sinfulness. We find ourselves entombed by our failure to love. We live in the darkness, a darkness that we have grown accustomed to. We stumble along, shrouded in the dark, not really living. We remain in the tomb of our own construction, a tomb built from our failure to love as God has asked us to love. We hide in that dark sanctuary, fearful of what may be outside. It does not have to be this way. We too, have a chance at a new life, a life more full and more meaningful than we have known before. All we need do is look up, see the blinding flash of light, the brilliance that fills all space. There is no need for fear. Move into the light and hear a voice, the voice, calling to you, “Lazarus, come out.”
Fifth Sunday of Lent
March 9, 2008