Jesus Wept

 

Growing up I attended a private, Christian, school that had been started by the church my family attended. It was a lot like most other schools I guess, except for it being really small and we literally had things like “Bible Class” as part of our curriculum (Pro-tip: if you ever take a bible class and need to make a guess on a test, always go with Jesus). One of the things that I remember having to do during my time at this school was to memorize bible verses. I can’t even begin to remember how many times I tried to use John 11:35 as my verse. Do you know it? Well if you wanted to memorize a whole bible verse today you can because this one is only 2 words! Jesus wept.

Obviously it took me zero time to memorize this verse. What has taken time though is understanding, and trying to live it out. This is the shortest verse in the bible yet it has massive implications for our lives right now.

 

In John 11 we are told of the time that Jesus went to go raise his friend Lazarus (Mary and Martha’s brother) from the dead. In the story Jesus makes sure that Lazarus is good and dead, by waiting 4 days, before even going to the town. This delay was intentional and helped demonstrate the power and authority of Jesus.

 

John 11:4

But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (ESV)

 

So, Jesus finally makes his way to Bethany (where Lazarus is now buried) in verse 17. It’s here that he meets Mary, and Martha, and many from their Jewish community. They are understandably distraught. What a scene Jesus finds himself in, talking with this group of grieving humans. Mary and Martha feeling additional pain knowing that if only Jesus had been there sooner then all of this could have been so easily avoided. It’s here that Jesus weeps.

 

John 11:33-35

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. (ESV)

 

But why did he weep? After all, he knew that he was just about to raise Lazarus from the dead (vs. 43). Why would he be sad, deeply moved, if he knew what great miracle he was about to do? Jesus didn’t weep for Lazarus, he wept for those grieving. It’s because God cares about us. Jesus cared about the deep pain and grief that his friends were experiencing. He had authentic empathy for them. He was sad that they were sad.

 

Jesus still does this with us now. Whatever emotions you find coming to the surface in your life right now, Jesus is there with you. He knows how it feels and he is here for you! But there are greater implications for us to think about than our own needs being met.

Jesus wants us to follow him in this practice of empathy! Our founder led the way in showing us how to actually care about the people around us. Imagine again the all powerful creator of everything, who can control nature, and has authority over even death…being moved to tears by the sorrow of his friends. This is the kind of community building love that we should work to have for each other in Chi Alpha. It may not be a natural thing for you to do this, but Jesus showed us how important of a thing it is by practicing it. What is a new way that you can show a friend that you care about what they are going through?

 

Jesus, help us to love the way you showed us to. Help us to really care for the people that we have in our lives. Give us creative ideas on what we can do next. May we as XA be a community that practices this with each other because that’s what you showed us to do. Amen.

 

Best Summer Ever

You have made it to the last week of classes before finals. There is light at the end of the tunnel! Soon the weight of due dates and the monotony of class will give way to the bright freedom of summer. What unrealized joys will make themselves known as summer slowly unfolds its fresh experiences to us!?

Don’t be bored in Kent this year. There is more to do than work, go online, watch tv, and sleep. Make XA a part of your summer. We want to make life fun and we want to do life together. So starting May 22nd we are going to be hanging out each Friday night (starting around 6pm). The location will vary but food and good times will always be there. These Friday nights are just the start to a great summer with your XA family 🙂 If you are in town this summer…lets get together!

Breakaway 2013

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Registration is open now! The cost is only $80 $65 for EVERYTHING for the whole weekend.

Chi Alpha groups from all across Ohio will be getting together in just over two weeks for Breakaway. This is a great time to hang out with friends and grow in Jesus. The registration fee covers everything except for transportation, we will probably just be carpooling to Camp McPherson from Kent. It looks like the drive is about an hour and 45 minutes from here (21880 Shadley Valley Rd. Danville, OH 43014).

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If you are wanting to go…then do this:

  1. Register
  2. Let Jesse know by texting: 330-474-9550
  3. Get excited, and force a friend to come with you.

Below is some more info taken from the facebook event page.

When asked, “What’s the greatest commandment,” Jesus answered, “Love God with everything and love others like yourself.” What would that look like in our everyday lives? How did God model that for us? Do you feel His love for you? Do others feel your love for them? We’ll tackle these questions in breakouts, main sessions, and campus groups intermixed with worship, snacks, games, sports and lots of laughs.

You’ll want to bring your Bible, bedding, towel, toiletries, clothes you don’t mind getting dirty in, any card/board games, cleats if you’re playing football/soccer, and whatever else you think would be fun.

XA Groups are a GO

community

Next week is the official start for all 3 of our XA Groups. The purpose of these groups is simple. We want to grow in Jesus, and we want to grow in friends. So these gatherings are all about that. There is lots to look forward to! You will have meaningful conversation, make great memories, and create life-long friendships. It’s our earnest desire that you build one of these groups into your weekly schedule.

These are the leaders that are heading up groups this semester. Pick a group and dig in deep! Please text or call for missing details: 330-474-9550

Raelyn Cook – Thursdays at 4pm. Location is TBA. It’s girls only, and we will be studying the book of Esther.

Jesse Cook – Coed – This semester we will be exploring what real community is all about. Not just understanding it with our mind, but actually living it out! We meet every Monday afternoon at 2pm. Contact Jesse for location.

Nick Testa – Coed – We will be working through the “Live Dead” experience. Times and location are TBA.