Lazarus’ Sunday worship was amazing, mainly because the story of Lazarus is amazing, so rich with meaning. The possibility of living in an “unbind him and let him go” sort of world is breath-taking. Lazarus-living is, of course, resurrection life, and it is breath-taking.
That is what happens in baptism, though. We’re unbound, and set free, unwrapped as Lazarus was, coming up out of the waters. And the question becomes: “now that you are free, what will you do with the rest of your life?”
Heading into Lazarus’ Sunday, as I ruminated on the text, I made lists of the kinds of bonds that kill, from oppression to violence, you name it. My daughter, later in the day, called to report a kind of binding she heard about. The priest of the church she was visiting said, in his list of bondages, ” we bind people up by our interpretations of them.”
We do, don’t we. Here’s another way of unbinding Lazarus and letting him go: unbind your neighbor by letting go of preconceptions, assumptions, prejudice, categorizing, projections. What would it be like to stop our minds for a minute, analyzing and story-telling, and just meet someone for who they might be, instead of who we want to turn the them into.
I imagine that might have been Jesus’ way of meeting people, in freedom, in spirit and truth, and the great refreshment of simply being with another in the openness of the moment.