Church Office:          301-689-9244         stpaulsfrostburg@verizon.net

Office Hours:   Mon & Tues, Thurs & Fri, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.,   Closed on Wednesdays.

©Copyright 2020.  Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church, Frostburg, MD.  All rights reserved.

Saint Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

34 West Main St., Frostburg, MD 21532

Pastor Karen Crosby

PASTOR’S MESSAGE:

 

Sunday Meditation for the week of  March 29, 2020

Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, your Son came into the world to free us from sin and death.  Breathe upon us the power of your Spirit, that we may be raised to new life in Christ and serve you in righteousness all our days, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

         This week we find ourselves, according to the calendar, at the last full week of Lent, the week before Palm Sunday and Holy Week.  In our daily reality, however, we find ourselves experiencing perhaps the longest Lenten period of our lives.  The coronavirus pandemic has created for us an extended period of self-denial as we take shelter in our homes with the intention of “flattening the curve” as they say – our attempts to contain the virus from spreading throughout the entire population.  Schools and businesses are closed, restaurants serve only take-out orders, and grocery store shelves are barren of many of the staples that we have always counted on as being readily available for purchase.  Even our church buildings are closed to the public for activities and worship.  The usually-busy streets of Frostburg are all but barren of vehicle and foot traffic.  On the news media we see pictures of places like New York City with empty, lifeless streets.  We are tucked away, hiding from death.

         In a way, the same was true of Mary and Martha, about whom we read in the lessons appointed for this Sunday.  They had hoped to avoid the death of their brother, Lazarus, who had become ill.  The sisters, knowing that their good friend Jesus had performed amazing miracles, sent out a plea for him to come and heal their brother.  He was, after all, staying in a town only about two miles away.  How puzzling it must have been for the sisters, then, when Jesus didn’t show up, didn’t come to save his dear friend Lazarus – and didn’t even send a messenger with an excuse. 

         Instead, Jesus arrived four days too late.  Lazarus had already died and had been entombed for those four days – dead to the point that his body had begun to decay.  The sisters, in the company of others, were deep into the mourning period.  As Jesus approached, both Mary and Martha, in turn, expressed their disappointment, with a fair hint of accusation, that Jesus hadn’t answered their call to heal their brother.  Jesus, in return, was disappointed and aggrieved – at one point his face became wet with his tears, but not for the same reason as the sisters.