Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunday Lessons

Our church meets at 8:30. That’s 8:30 AM!! Bright and early in the morning with five children isn’t always the easiest task. And sometimes, let’s face it, I am just too tired to get out of bed. My body groans and complains. The pillow is soft, my covers welcoming. It makes it really hard – sometimes – to think about going and sitting for three hours in dressy clothes and uncomfortable shoes.

But, on those mornings I feel that way; when I feel like I just really don’t want to go, I go anyway. Because even though I want sleep, I don’t want to myself to get into the habit of skipping church when I am too tired.

And every time – EVERY TIME – I go anyway, I am always so glad. The lessons and talks on those Sundays are inevitably meant just for me. They strike my heart and cause me to desire to be better than I am.

Yesterday was one such morning. I could have justified easily staying home. A child that felt under the weather, aching bones, etc, etc. But I went.

In Sunday School I realized why. Now, Sunday School usually gets a bad reputation for being boring. But in our ward, we are blessed with two very good teachers. They are completely different from each other but each have a humility and love for the Savior that is passed on to those who listen to them teach. And so, it is not uncommon to feel the spirit in Sunday School.

We talked about the teachings of our Savior, Jesus Christ, in Luke 18 and John 11. I loved the thoughts shared; the insight other’s had. But as we discussed John chapter 11, I noticed things I hadn’t considered before.

It’s the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. It’s a story most Christians know. Yet, between the teacher’s insights and the comments I was began looking at the story slightly differently.

You see, raising Lazarus was a miracle. I would guess that most of those who believe in Jesus Christ, believe that he wrought miracles upon the earth during His time here. And many of us still believe that miracles are possible today; even miracles as great as raising someone from the dead.

Mary and Martha believed in the Divinity of Jesus. They knew Him to be the son of God, their King, their Savior. But when Jesus told Martha in verse 23 that her brother would live again, she didn’t get it. She knew he would live again after the resurrection, just didn’t realize that Jesus meant he could live again THAT DAY. Mary was the same way.

So when Jesus wept, of course he wept for the sorrow of those He loved. But it was also suggested, looking at verse 33, that perhaps he wept because of the lack of understanding. They were so close to understanding all the power, authority and divinity of the Savior, but just didn’t see how it applied to them right now.

I began to think about the atonement. The suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and the pain on the cross at Golgotha. I believe with my whole heart in the completeness of that sacrifice. I believe that the enabling power of the atonement can help us overcome all things. I know that. And yet, upon pondering about it more, feel like I understand some of it but often fail to see how I can apply it to my life. Right now. Today.

The Atonement is available to all. It excludes no one. It can free us of the burden of sin, hurt, anger, heartache and so much more. By applying the atonement in our lives, we can be empowered to conquer the Enemy. I know these things. They are as true to me as knowing the sun will rise and rain will fall. They are real.

And yet, how do I apply it? How do I take my burdens and lay them at the feet of my Savior? How do I understand the whole picture?

It was an interesting moment for me; to consider the story of Lazarus as a symbol of the power of the Atonement. It was intriguing to consider the spiritual understanding of those who loved him so dearly. And it was enlightening to consider that I can more honestly, more wholly, apply that Sacrifice in my life.

I also think it no coincidence that after teaching Mary and Martha about the power of the Atonement, Lazarus rose from the dead. Just as, after, our Savior completed the atonement, He also rose. Everything He taught was a type, a lesson, to draw people nearer to Him. To help them understand the atonement and the resurrection. To help them return to our Father in Heaven. This story would be no different.

Anyway, it was a wonderful feeling to feel the scriptures working within my heart. I am so grateful for them. And I will continue to try to apply the atonement more fully in my life.

1 comment:

That Girl said...

Can I visit your Sunday School class?

No - really?

(PS - OUR ward starts at EIGHT!)