Share: A moment from today when you felt close to God, and a moment when you felt far from God.
Read: John 11.43-44
Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’
Discuss: Have you ever felt bound up or closed off? Have you ever heard Jesus calling you to come out and be free? What was it like?
Ponder: Imagine facing the closed door of the tomb—either as Lazarus or as someone who grieved him. What’s going through your mind as you look at the stone door and hear Jesus’ command to open it? What fears bubble up? What hopes? What do you wish you could say? When the door is opened, are you willing to walk, or are you still feeling bound—by death, by grief, by uncertainty, by fear, by expectation, by something else?
Grab a pencil, pen, crayon, colored pencil…and in the margins of this booklet, doodle some bandages. Name them with what keeps you bound, and notice if it feels like they are being unwrapped, wrapped tighter, offering healing, keeping you tied up, etc.
Pray: Offer those bindings to God, and imagine Jesus pulling them off. Then pray the doxology (say it, sing it, whatever!):
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Praise Christ all people here below!
Praise Holy Spirit evermore!
Praise Triune God whom we adore! Amen.