Exploring the Sunday Gospel - Fifth Sunday of Lent


Today is the Fifth Sunday of Lent that is also commonly called Passion Sunday, beginning the two-week period known as Passiontide. The Gospel reading for Passion Sunday is John’s account of the raising of Lazarus. With that Gospel reading ringing in our ears we can approach the events of Holy Week, when Jesus will be arrested, crucified, and placed in the tomb, in sure confidence of resurrection. In John’s Gospel the raising of Lazarus prefigures Jesus’ own resurrection and provides the context for Jesus’ teaching, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’


For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during the preceding week, I invited reflection on the image of tombs. In today’s picture from their books in the Christian Special Places series, Aled and Sian are looking at the tombstones lining the pathway to their church. They pause to read the inscriptions.   


Lord Jesus Christ,

you called Lazarus from the tomb

and restored him to new life.

Call us from the prisons that surround us,

that we may be free to live the new life in you;

now and always.



Next Sunday is Palm Sunday when the Gospel reading from Matthew recounts Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey. The image to help prepare for next Sunday’s theme is palm crosses. You can find out more about that theme by looking at the Educational Resources and the Preparation Resources.


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