I began Lent by asking the question, “What is your relationship to Jesus?” Along the way since then I’ve put the question a couple of different ways. “What does it mean to have a relationship with Jesus?” “How can you have a relationship with Jesus?”
The story of Jesus’ raising of Lazarus in John 11, taught us a difficult, but ultimately hopeful, truth: we have to die in order to be in relationship with Jesus. We have to let go of our control over everything in our lives and let Jesus give it back to us as a resurrected gift.
Finally, last Sunday, in having to come to terms with Jesus’ passion and death, we found Jesus showing us a God who is in absolute solidarity with us.
I do not think that Jesus much cares about our sins. What he cares about is whether or not we’re ready to leave behind whatever keeps us from relationship with him, and accept his forgiveness, which is to accept his acceptance.
Third, Jesus knows our name. That doesn’t seem like much, but it is a big, big deal. Everyone of you knows the feeling of walking into a group of people who know you, but no one can remember your name. Intended or not, it is an act of radical inhospitality.
And don’t forget the real message of today:
The Glory of God is a human being fully alive.
Let us be fully alive together.