Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lent Day 38: Almost there

At this point in Passion week, Jesus knows he's headed for the cross. He has another day. What will he tell his disciples? How will he say good-bye and see you again? What kind of organization will he set up so his followers stay on track in the Kingdom of God?

The final chapters of John summarize the interactions between Jesus and his disciples. How tender he is! How grace-filled. Even Judas seems to have the chance to change his course ... until he commits to betrayal.

There's no frantic micromanagement in Jesus' last days before the cross. No: "Let's get this perfect, guys! We're making history here, so let me make sure everything is A-1 for the Passover performance. Hey, you sit there. ... Hmmm, I think we should have a blue towel, not the one the host brought..." (You get the picture.)

Sometimes we fuss over details because the outcome and the moment is so special. What if we took Jesus cue of being fully present, reviewing what we know about God (His life-giving grace and goodness), while preparing others for challenges and difficulties. Jesus acknowledged (warned of) failure, abandonment, and broken trust. But he didn't attack or demean Peter or Judas or the disciples. After all, he was going to the cross for their brokenness and weaknesses, alongside everyone else's.

When I'm tempted to huff and puff, to stress out, and to juggle details so I can control the presentation, I need to remember the "in-the-moment, with-you-always" Jesus. Eating. Drinking. Communing. Teaching. Loving. Praying.
  • with death on the horizon
  • with the cross at the end of the path
  • with the pretense of "all is well" by those around him
  • with his reputation about to shatter through accusations by hateful leaders
 "For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross," wrote an early Christian (Hebr. 12:2).

What joy would help you to endure what is before you this week? This season? This year?

Read more:
*If the godly give in to the wicked, it's like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring. Proverbs 25:26 NLT

*The mighty one, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. Psalm 50:1 NLT

*Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV

*See that you do not refuse the one who is speaking. Hebrews 12:25 NLT

Moravian Prayer: God of light, promise, and hope, may we hear your voice calling us again, as if for the first time. May the stories of this holy week dare us to take part anew in the unfolding drama of your love. Amen.

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