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April 4, 2017

Lent 2017: Day Thirty

Week Five: Larger Fears Require Bolder Actions

Reflection for the Week: How can I be a courageous partner in God’s creative goodness?

I have often wondered how Jesus, the son of God, could come to earth, perform miracles of wonder and healing, embody in him the power and presence of God, and still, there were people who said, “Who is this?” How could you be in the presence of the Christ and not know it? The Bible says the people had been waiting for the Messiah, hoping for him, looking for him. How do you not see something you are looking for is not what God is sending?

The people of Jesus’ day were looking for a messiah of the line of King David. That meant a king of Israel, a triumphant and powerful king entering the scene on a stallion. But, Jesus entered “on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Matthew 21:5) Powerful kings often enter with a battle cry, but Jesus upon entering Jerusalem just “wept.” (Luke 19:41) Many people missed seeing Jesus for who he was. They were looking for a king of power and he came as the prince of peace.

It has been more than a decade since the shock and sorrow of the terrorist attack on our nation. Ever since that day, anxious eyes have been looking out for more terrorist threats and activity. This is understandable. But how many eyes and hearts are looking for Jesus? How many of us seek signs of peace as the priority search? I fear that if Jesus came today, he would still be weeping — weeping for a world that continues to put its trust in powers of might against our enemies, not powers of love and care for both friends and strangers.

We may want a leader of power and might to deliver us, but Jesus comes as he came – in peace and love. How do we muster the courage to do the same?

Prayer: O Lord, put your Spirit within me that I might be an instrument of your peace. Amen.

Rev. John Farley
Dean of Cabinet
California-Pacific Conference