Year A - Fifth Sunday in Lent or Conviction 
April 6, 2014
While appreciating the specificity of people and locale, it is all too easy to bring this down to a miracle story for one small group of people. Breaking the rules of nature, even to make a glory point, ends up with unintended consequences.
Here “belief” in Jesus has a tangible reward. Lazarus rises.
It turns out this was a publicity stunt. The reaper of rewards was not Lazarus, Mary, or Martha but for those who happened to be part of Martha and Mary’s support system, weeping with them. “I am doing this for the crowd so they may believe me.”
Bottom-line: Many, but not all, “believed” in Jesus. Where is the teaching to trust, anyway?
So, Lenten Discipliners, you are not fasting for your sake, but for the crowd. Go ahead and stand on a street-corner. Yes, you’ll hear about it. “You’ve taken it too far—go to your closet” After this story it is difficult to know where “too far” might be.
Perhaps Lent is not so much about particulars as finding a way to discern where to go and when—retreat or charge ahead—charitably mourn with those who mourn or to structurally change our community system to reduce events that bring on mourning.