I’ve always wondered about this ending phrase, “welcome as a child.” Jesus says “whoever doesn’t welcome God’s kingdom like a child will never enter it.” Another version says “whoever does not receive God’s kingdom like a little child.” What does that mean?
How many songs, poems, books, and works of art are devoted to love, inspired by it’s ecstatic heights and haunted by its absence? It’s a fundamental human need to give and receive it, but why are we so bad at it? The author bell hooks wrote: “Everywhere we learn that love is important, yet we are bombarded by its failure.”
When we put ourselves at the center, we tend to view other creatures and the land as existing for our benefit alone… We’d be here way past lunch today if we catalogued all the ways our inherent belief that we are the only objects of the Shepherd’s love and care plays out.
That’s one idea Luke is trying to convey to the reader: it is in the ordinary stuff of daily living where Jesus shows up, especially when people share a meal together… So if we’re paying attention, the presence of the risen Christ will still show up around our tables, too.
Christ’s body has taken on the ravages of human violence for all to see, touch, and ponder, not to avoid or turn away from. And so the wounds remain.
We know on some level that, as Mark’s community did, God calls us to finish the story. God calls us to add to the story of the empty tomb in the “Galilees,” the ordinary spaces, of our own lives.
The first Palm Sunday was a political demonstration—not partisan—but political, as in dealing with the polis, or the community… In those two marches, Pilate’s and Jesus’, there was a stark contrast between the love of power and the power of love.
Jeremiah can teach us three things about the kind of forgiveness God offers Israel and Judah. And we can learn something about the nature of forgiveness itself, the forgiveness we’re called to practice. God’s forgiveness is relational, radical, and relentless.
It often takes confronting something head-on—lifting it up, if you will—to get a brutally honest look at the extent of the problem. And it’s a paradox that the path toward healing goes through suffering. The path toward transformation goes through the old ways… not around, over, or beneath, but through them.
The Rev. Dr. Michael Smith The Third Sunday in Lent (March 4, 2018) Exodus 20:1-17 Then God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for…