When God Doesn’t Make Sense, Roll Away the Stone!

When God Doesn’t Make Sense, Roll Away the Stone!

This is the fifth and final weekend of our message series called “When God Doesn’t Make Sense.”  We’ve been looking at things that God does, or doesn’t do, that just don’t make sense to us. 


We’ve looked at when God tells us “no.”  We talked about suffering and death. We examined why God can seem uncooperative.  We looked at why God allows unjust leaders.  


If you missed any of those messages, you can find them on our website: saintmary.life


Today we are looking at why Jesus tells the people, in the gospel we heard, to roll away the stone blocking the entrance to Lazarus’ tomb, rather than using his power to do it himself.  At first that does not make sense to us. The tomb was a cave covered with a huge stone. Jesus asks the PEOPLE to roll away the stone.


It is only after the people roll away the stone that Jesus prays over the tomb and raises Lazarus from the dead.  Why did he ask others to do that? It doesn’t make sense because if Jesus could raise a man from the dead, surely he had the ability to move the stone himself.  But he doesn’t. He asks for help. 


This is a pattern he demonstrated throughout the Gospels. He asks for help. He insists on it, in fact.  There is not a single instance where Jesus performs a miracle without the support, the assistance, the cooperation of those involved.
Over and over again, his friends and followers were pressed into service.  Consistently, Jesus would do what he could do only after his followers did what they could do.  That’s why he asks them:“Roll away the stone.”


To be an effective follower of Christ, you’ve got to be about rolling away the stones.  Jesus asks us to remove the obstacles and barriers that keep people from coming to know him.  Those are the stones we want to roll away. We do the possible and Jesus does the impossible. 


The obstacles that most often keep people from Christ and his Church are not theological or philosophical.


  • People stay away from Church because they think they won’t be welcomed. 
  • People stay away from Church because they assume they will be judged. 
  • People stay away from Church because their impression is that it’s for insiders.
  • They stay away because they have noisy little kids and there is no accommodation for little kids
  • They stay away because they’re tired of fighting their teenagers about going. 

Now is the time.  While we are only able to be part of Mass by live streaming, now is a perfect time to roll away stones by extending an invitation for people to share in our Mass experience online, where they are in a safe place, a place when none of the issues I just mentioned come into play.


Roll away the stone by extending an invitation.  Create watch parties on our facebook feed and invite people to join who may have fallen away from church, so that they may encounter the healing presence of Jesus online.  Extend open invitations like this. Remember too, it is not about whether or not people actually go online, and participate in our live stream Mass, it is about you rolling away the stone and letting Jesus do the rest.  Do not become attached to the result of your invitation, just invite.


Roll away the stone, and share Jesus with the world.  Roll away the stone by extending an invitation and let Jesus do the rest.  In this way you are sharing Jesus with the world. The Lord is asking you to help him. Can you do that?


This is what we want you to know: Consistently, Jesus would do what he could do only after his followers did what they could do. That’s why he asks them: “Roll away the stone.”


This is what we want you to do: Roll away the stone with us. Help us create a church for the unchurched… A church, that people who don’t like church, come to love.  Roll away the stone by inviting people to join us here online using every means at your disposal, including things like facebook watch parties. Let’s roll away the stone, and let Jesus bring life to those on the other side of that stone.