“That is the right answer in all difficulties, sorrow, and temptation: ‘I believe that Thou art the Christ.’ That is the right answer in confusion as well. ‘Do you believe that Lazarus, who is dead, is not dead? Do you believe that these evil things are for the glory of God, that it is good that Lazarus was not spared this pain, or you your grief?’ He asks. And she says, ‘I believe that Thou art the Christ.’
“Jesus is the Christ. He is the resurrection and the life. That is the answer because it is the only thing that matters, the only thing that endures, the only thing that is trustworthy. Jesus is the Christ.
“Yes, we can speculate and make up excuses and find ways that death is good or cancer is a gift, but it is pretty thin, and it rarely brings comfort. We do well to learn from St. Martha not to excuse the evil in this world, but to simply say, ‘I believe that Thou art the Christ. Somehow this will be good. I don’t know how. I can’t see it. But Thou art the Christ. I have a Savior. God loves me. Death itself will come to an end. Thou wilt bring it together and bring me home.’
“May God in His mercy keep this clearly in our hearts and minds, that whatever afflicts us—fear of death, despair of our sins, deep sadness and loneliness—we might be kept safe in this Word and faith until the end. Yes, I believe that Thou art the Christ.”
This is an excerpt from the sermon for Friday of Laetare (the fourth week in Lent) based on John 11:1-45. Thy Kingdom Come (which is currently 20% off!) is a collection of Lent and Easter sermons by Rev. David H. Petersen. With over sixty sermons spanning Pre-Lent, all forty days of Lent, and the Sundays after Easter, this book is an excellent daily devotion for both pastors and parishioners.