The theme this morning was ‘Lazarus’. After the rather formal Lenten reading and the placing of the fourth symbol, the whip, on the cross the main service opened with the singing of two lively songs- ‘Bless the Lord O my soul’ and ‘There is a redeemer’.
The notices today highlighted a surprising number of youth activities for the coming months.
Communion followed an appropriate ‘Lent and Passiontide’ order of service and the background music was a little different being of a Chinese style making a pleasant change.
The reading was presented by four readers taking the parts of the characters in the story of Lazarus from John’s gospel. The sermon obviously continued looking at this account. We were told that the major in a town in France found that the local cemetery was full and there was no extra ground in the vicinity. He therefore passed a law forbidding inhabitants from dying!
We were asked to consider why Jesus did not stop Lazarus from dying as he was aware of his deteriorating condition, which he had been told about by Mary and Martha. Support for Jesus was waning and there was increasing opposition. Jesus had raised people after they had been dead for two days, but on this occasion, he deliberately waited four days when a body in a tomb would have started to decompose. The smell was expected when the stone was removed, but Lazarus walked out showing Jesus had the power over death, worrying the Roman Caligula. This was setting the scene for future events.
Prayers and two more lively hymns conclude the service.
The baptism of Edith Sarah followed the morning service.
Kindly written by Dennis Hobson