John 12:12b-19 (NLT)
The news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A huge crowd of Passover visitors 13 took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel! 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said: 15 “Don’t be afraid, people of Israel. Look, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.” 16 His disciples didn’t realize at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy. But after Jesus entered into his glory, they remembered that these Scriptures had come true before their eyes. 17 Those in the crowd who had seen Jesus call Lazarus back to life were telling others all about it. 18 That was the main reason so many went out to meet him–because they had heard about this mighty miracle. 19 Then the Pharisees said to each other, “We’ve lost. Look, the whole world has gone after him!”
What are the things you’ve experienced that you can’t help but talk about? Perhaps it is describing where you were when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit in 1989. Maybe you’ve told and retold where you were when the planes hit the World Trade Center on 9-11. Perhaps it is the experience of a birth of a child.
These kinds of experiences shape us and draw us out. The chance to see Jesus, the one with the power over death, drew people out. The story of Jesus raising Lazarus pointed people to Jesus. For those who opposed Jesus, this attention was a devastating defeat. Hurray! “We’ve lost,” they said, “Look, the whole world has gone after him!” Hurray!
We all have stories of God working in our lives, calling us out to engage in the lives of those around us and tell others what God is up to in our lives. What is your story of God’s action in your life? Is it in a time of joy or a season of struggle? Is your story one of God’s challenging your direction in life and leaving you unsettled, looking for something else?
Don’t hold that story to yourself. Who knows how God will use your story to point to Jesus? Who knows how God will use your story to draw you closer to Jesus? You have a story to tell. Let it be heard and may you be blessed in the telling of it.
Gracious God, bring to my attention a story I have to share and give me the courage to speak up, with your power in my life. Amen.
Dialog discuss: Can we find in the human other a trace of the Divine Other? Can we recognize God’s image in one who is not in my image? There are times when God meets us in the face of a stranger. The global age has turned our world into a society of strangers. That is not a threat to faith but a call to faith larger and more demanding than we sometimes supposed it to be. Johnathon Sacks, The Dignity of Difference