Jesus received word that Lazarus had died. Lazarus, and his sisters Mary and Martha had been very close friends of Jesus' for many years. He spent time in their home, they went to see him whenever they could. Not only that, but Lazarus would have been the male to bring in funds, and care for their income and resource needs, and to protect them. Even in the US it has been less than 50 years since women were able to get a credit card in their name. In Jesus' time women without a man would be extremely vulnerable. Jesus must have been in grief, not only for the loss of his friend, but also for what it would mean for Mary and Martha. In the gospels this is the only time they mention Jesus weeping. And probably this is a good response for us, no matter the events surrounding a death around us: to grieve with those left behind. Not to toss out platitudes, but to sit down and be sorrowful with them.
God, who has lived our lives, and borne our griefs, we lift to you our friend who mourns the loss of her mother. Wrap your loving arms around them in this time of leave-taking. We also lift to you others in our lives who are grieving the loss of loved ones, the loss of community, the loss of occupation, the loss of vision for the future. We pray that you will give us the words to use in those instances, or that you hold our tongues that we may simply sit with those who grieve. In all things, even in sorrow, may we be instruments of your peace...Amen.