BIBLE READING

JOHN 11.17-44

17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem (less than two miles away). 19 Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother.

20 As soon as Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21 Then Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. 22 Yet even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”

23 “Your brother will rise again,” Jesus told her.

24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who comes into the world.”

28 Having said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”

29 As soon as Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Jesus had not yet come into the village but was still in the place where Martha had met him. 31 The Jews who were with her in the house consoling her saw that Mary got up quickly and went out. They followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to cry there.

32 As soon as Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and told him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died!”

33 When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying, he was deeply moved in his spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you put him?” he asked.

“Lord,” they told him, “come and see.”

35 Jesus wept.

36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Couldn’t he who opened the blind man’s eyes also have kept this man from dying?”

38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39 “Remove the stone,” Jesus said.

Martha, the dead man’s sister, told him, “Lord, there is already a stench because he has been dead four days.”

40 Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”

41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you heard me. 42 I know that you always hear me, but because of the crowd standing here I said this, so that they may believe you sent me.” 43 After he said this, he shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and let him go.”

Week 1: A Light in the Darkness

More than ever we all need the light. Right now the world seems to be getting darker. A year of relentless bad news, lives disrupted, communities splintered, truth hard to find. We all face an uncertain future. Into this darkness Jesus shines the most amazing light – life, love and hope.

BIBLE READING

JOHN 9.1-11

9 As Jesus was passing by, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” Jesus answered. “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him. We must do the works of him who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

After he said these things he spit on the ground, made some mud from the saliva, and spread the mud on his eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means “Sent”). So he left, washed, and came back seeing.

His neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit begging?” Some said, “He’s the one.” Others were saying, “No, but he looks like him.”

He kept saying, “I’m the one.”

10 So they asked him, “Then how were your eyes opened?”

11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So when I went and washed I received my sight.”

Week 2: The Cost of a Life

We all know life is precious, but how much are we willing to lose to save it? And the stakes are even higher when it’s eternity we’re talking about. Jesus says he’s willing to pay the ultimate price for us – are we willing to accept it?

BIBLE READING

JOHN 10.1-11

10 “Truly I tell you, anyone who doesn’t enter the sheep pen by the gate but climbs in some other way is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought all his own outside, he goes ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will never follow a stranger; instead they will run away from him, because they don’t know the voice of strangers.” Jesus gave them this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.

Jesus said again, “Truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the gate. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

10 So they asked him, “Then how were your eyes opened?”

11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So when I went and washed I received my sight.”

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