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October 13

John 11, 39-40

Something to read

Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead for four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’
New Revised Standard Version

To read the King James Version, click here

Something to think about

I like Martha. She’s so caring, and so down-to-earth practical. She was the one who looked after Jesus when he came to the house, and here she is the one who is worrying about the smell.

This is in the Middle East, after all, where the temperature means that things will rot quickly. And so the tomb would have smelled pretty awful after four days.

So many churches are held together by the people (often, though not exclusively, women) who do all the things behind the scenes.

They open up, switch on the heating, put on the urn for coffee, clean the floors, wash the windows, put out the hymn books  – do the thousand and one things that are needed to keep things running smoothly, whatever else is going on in their lives.

Something to do

When you go to church this week, look around and think of the things that need to be done, and try to find out who does them. And when you do find out, say thank you. And even better, find something that needs to be done and volunteer.

Something to pray

Thank you, Father, for the people who do the practical things to look after our churches and places of worship every week. 

Today's contributor is Suzanne Elvidge, a writer who specialises in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, technology, business and ecological issues.


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