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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Resurrection on this side of the grave

From depression, I am called to new life

The resurrection of Jesus—which we continue to celebrate in these 50 days following Easter—promises us eternal life. It’s our hope. But as we walk with Jesus through the Gospels, we stand with him at another resurrection when he called for his friend Lazarus to “come out” from his tomb (John 11:38-44; The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language by Eugene Peterson).

Here is a regular mortal who was resurrected to new life on this side of the grave for the rest of his days on Earth. Commanded by Jesus to come out, Lazarus stumbles into the light, tearing away that kerchief and trailing strips of gravecloth like a mummy from a black-and-white horror flick.

Jami Hawkins:  When depression calls
Jami Hawkins: “When depression calls me to withdraw, I resist—knowing that corporate worship strengthens me.”
I’d like to think that if I had been there, I would have fallen down and worshiped Jesus. More likely I would have eclipsed any ancient world records for running the 100-yard dash as I fled.

Nothing more is mentioned of Lazarus. All we know is that he made his way out of his dark tomb—through Christ.

Lazarus’ resurrection story became my hope two summers ago when I joined the ranks of the 18.8 million American adults who suffer from depressive illness. (The estimate from the National Institute of Mental Health is based on the hypothesis that in any one-year period, 9.5 percent of the adult population is depressed).


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