Mothers’ Union Devotion – Fifth Sunday of Lent – Passiontide

Lazarus Rising

I woke up dead
Trapped in my head
Only able to think
Black stars hung above me
While dirt surrounded me like a sea
And I began to sink
It seemed to me that I was trapped
There was no hope of going back
To my old life
I knew then that I had died
And my oh my it hurt my pride
It cut like a knife
But as days went by
I began to rise
Like the phoenix
Now that I’ve escaped my head
And I rose from the dead
Call me Lazarus
MKF Feb 2015


This Sunday our Gospel reading is the raising of Lazarus, the last recorded miracle of Jesus in John’s gospel, before he turns his face to Jerusalem and his Passion. I thought the above poem, Lazarus Rising, captured what we might be feeling trapped in our homes, unable to carry on with our normal lives, whether that is going out and about or receiving visitors in our homes. The idea that we wake up each morning with the sinking feeling that today is going to be no different from yesterday, tomorrow and the days after that.

The poem also offers us hope, that just like Lazarus, we can escape from this sense of death and rise like the phoenix. Rise in our heads to a new way of living, with phone calls rather than visits, home cooking rather than restaurant meals, daily walks rather than being too busy for exercise. Rise in our spiritual lives because we have more time for prayer and talking to God. And then ultimately to rise again, after the crisis is over, into a world which has changed because people have come together more, to help each other through the dark days.

Over the next two weeks, we will follow Jesus as he turns his face towards the cross. The ultimate dark place of death, and the ultimate bringer of new life. New life for all of us where we, like Lazarus, can rise like a phoenix. New life bought through Jesus’ suffering because he loves each and every one of us, just as he loved Lazarus.


Loving Lord, we pray for all who feel trapped with little hope of an end to their suffering and anxieties. Help them and all of us, to turn and follow the path of Jesus, which enables us to rise into a restored life full of new possibilities, new adventures and new visions.


Sent with my love and prayers to you all,

Revd. Sandra