St Matthews Digital
29 March 2020
Lockdown Video for Lent 5
Our first worship video recorded at home at the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic on 29 March 2020, the fifth Sunday of Lent.
Rev Helen Jacobi
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Lockdown Video for Lent 5
Tena, koutou Tena, koutou Tena koutou, katoa cure. It's a final check RIT, and welcome to the 5th. Sunday of Lent the 29th of March 20 2006, Matthew in the city worship. My name is Helen Jacobi, and I'm the vicar of st. Matthew, and the city in Auckland, aotearoa New Zealand and I'm lucky enough to have and my isolation bubble. The crew from 2113 creative. So thanks to them for helping us film our worship today.
Thanks to two hours that Matthews voices who a couple of days before the lockdown, recorded music for us, which we're going to be able to share with you over the next Sunday's, we're glad to have you all, join us for worship today, grace to you and peace from God. Our creator, the love of our beginning and Without End in our midst. And with us, God is with us here. We find new life.
Eternal spirit, Living God, in whom we live and move and have our being all that we are have been and shall be is known to you to the very secret of our hearts and all that rises to trouble.
Us living, flame burn into US. Cleansing wind blow through US Fountain of water. Well, up within us that we may love and praise indeed. And in truth For you, always.
Hear the gospel of Christ, according to st. John, be a lamp to my feet.
Jesus arrived in Bethany and he found that Lazarus had already been in the Tomb. Four days, when Martha, the sister of Lazarus heard that Jesus was coming. She went and met him while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him. Jesus said to her, your brother will rise again, I know.
He will rise again, in the Resurrection. On the last day, I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die will live and everyone who lives and Believes In Me, will never die.
Do you believe this? Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God. The one coming into the world.
When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary and told her privately. The teacher is here and is calling for you and when she heard it, Mary got up quickly and went to him. Now, Jesus had not yet come to the Village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the friends who were with her in the house consoling, her saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought she was going to the tomb to weep there.
When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And when Jesus saw her weeping and those who came with, her also weeping, he was greatly Disturbed, and spirit and deeply moved. And he said, where have you laid him? And they said to him, Lord, come and see.
So the people said see how he loved him, but some of them said could not. He who opened the eyes of the blind man have, kept this man from dying. Then Jesus again, greatly Disturbed came to the tomb, it was a cave and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, take away the stone.
Martha. The sister of the dead man said to him. Lord already there is a stench because he has been dead for days. Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God. So they took away the stone and Jesus looked upward and said, father I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me. But I've said this for the sake of the crowd standing here so that they may believe that you sent Play when he had said this. He cried with a loud voice Lazarus come out. It did man, came out his hands and his feet bound with strips of cloth and his face wrapped in a cloth.
And Jesus said to them, unbind him, let him go.
Many of those there for who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did believed in him.
This is the gospel of Christ, being white or black.
On a day, when we are worried about our loved ones and about our community and about our whole world.
What if Lee, use as a reading from the Bible about someone being raised from the dead, what are we supposed to supposed to do with that? It all seems too fanciful and frankly not really appropriate for today but one of our church disciplines is to stick with the reading that is given us in the lectionary. And so we're going to have a go at that.
Lazarus, the man who Jesus rises from the dead. What's so special about him. Why does he get chosen? Well, he was a friend of Jesus. He was brother to Mary and Martha. They were family. They grew up together.
Jesus stayed with Mary and Martha often and Bethany Mary sat once at the feet of Jesus, to listen to him. And Martha was grumpy about that and said, come and help me in the kitchen, but Jesus was happy for Mary to carry on.
Sitting at his feet and listening to him which was normally only done by the men.
So Lazarus is ill in Jesus is called to Bethany to help them but by the time he gets there, Lazarus has died, Mary, and Martha are both angry. If you had been here, they both say our brother would not have died.
And Jesus weeps, we're told his Disturbed and spirit. What does that mean? Well, it means he weeps he sobs, he's overcome with emotion. It's Jesus at his most human.
And then he goes to the tomb of Lazarus and tells them to roll away the stone and Martha. Who's the ever practical? One says, are. Don't you think it might be a bit smelly, but they do what they're told. And Jesus says, Lazarus, come out and the crowd. Well, what do they do? Of course, they gasp. They don't know what's going on. Maybe they scoff, and Lazarus comes out.
And he's wrapped up like an Egyptian mummy in the grave clothes. In Jesus says, unbind him and let him go, unbind him, and let him go.
So why does John the gospel writer? Give us the story?
Well, there's the tomb. There's a stone that has to be rolled away days. Have passed there are grave clothes left behind and the women are there. So it's very much like the resurrection story of Jesus himself. So is that's what is that what it's about? Well, maybe, but I'm always really drawn to those words, unbind him.
Unbind him and let him go.
What is it that binds us today? What is it? That binds you? What are the grave clothes that are holding us down and holding us back?
Well, I'm pretty sure today, it's fear and anxiety.
Frustration and disappointment at Lives cancelled and on hold, all those fun things we had planned in the next few months.
It'll also be fatigued and worried worried about jobs and finances and our futures.
I think we're getting pretty bound up and being addicted to the news feeds.
Some of us by now, we'll be starting to have boredom and Cabin Fever.
We're worried about family members. And if you're an essential Services person serving the rest of us, you're worried about bringing home the virus.
These are all Heavy burdens that we are carrying and we're at risk of getting bound tight in that worry and in that fear. But even now even now in the midst of these very real concerns and worries, Jesus calls to us from John's gospel and Sears, get up out of the Tomb and walk out.
And we hold our arms and he unwinds the wrappings unbinds. Those grave cloths and sets us free. And that's because we can still claim life everyday. We can claim life in the face of death and we can claim life because Jesus has been there before us Lazarus and Martha and Mary have been there before us. They wept with Jesus. It wasn't a game. It was real, they wept and they suffered, and they knew pain and sorrow.
Lazarus come out, Jesus said, unbind him and let him go.
Can we hear those words for us and know that they are spoken for us? Can we embrace our limited lockdown life with confidence knowing that God is with us and loves us and weeps with us?
Even if the worst were to happen and we were to lose a loved one, Jesus weeps with us.
And has love carries on beyond the grave. There's at, is a chant that we've been singing during Lent at Saint Matthews within our darkest night. You candle the fire that never dies away. You candle the fire that never dies away.
We can't sing those words together right now, but we can sing them at home to ourselves.
We live out those words by living out, our lives of faith.
We protest and we lament and we say to God, this virus is terrible. It's sweeping our world and it's so wrong, but we believe in God anyway.
And we walk free from the tomb of death every day.
So here, Jesus calling you out, unbind him, and let him go, unbind her and let her go.
These words are spoken for all of us.
Clock on an 80/20 80/20 time, my touring a tiara.
Or motto harder me madhu. Hockey in modern a geostationary harder, aniki Amato. Oh Cookie Martha car. We occupy a wire ingary. Fuck or on Yamato akitsuki? No, no. Ho Ki turanga tear at unga dick. Aha medic auroria aqui aqui aqui Harmony And so as we finish our worship today, can I offer this blessing?
Go forth into the world and peace, be strong, and of good courage. Hold fast to that, which is good, loving, and serving God with singleness of heart and rejoicing in the power of the spirit. And the blessing of God, creator, Redeemer and spirit of Grace be with you now and always. Amen.