Feedback on John 11 from DPE


The focus of this sermon is something everyone can relate too. Everyone feels bound to things that hold us down and rob us of life. Putting us in the position of Lazarus is something everyone should be able to imagine. There are times in my own life when I feel like I am so bound that I cannot breathe or move. I can see myself standing there with the grave clothes still hanging off of me. Connecting the power of Jesus to bring life in the midst of death to our belief is a good move that is faithful to John's gospel. John places so much emphasis on belief. The use of the PBS documentary at the beginning is effective. The realistic responses to our suffering and pain are moving and sensitive. The sermon however does pose a problem. Does it lead us to believe that anything is possible for those who believe? Therefore, when a child dies of leukemia does that mean we did not have enough faith? How do we explain the bad things that happen to good people with lots of faith? Also, there could be a tendency to think that society can ultimately improve. I'm not convinced this world will ever see God's shalom kingdom completely realized? In the text it says that Jesus tells the community to unbind him? What is the responsibility of the faith community to those who are bound? What are some of the things that bind us? What is it like when we are set free? There are many possible stories that could be told from each of our communities. I would love to hear how this sermon was fully developed in your context and preached.