Sunday is on the WAY!

Grace and Peace to you,

My sisters and brothers in Christ

Problems

Troubles

Suffering

Creep and cloud our lives

Just as the darkness on that Friday

But just wait,

Cling to your faith,

Wrap yourselves in God’s Love

Because Sunday’s on the way.

Amen.

(pause)

Our Lenten journey pauses at the crossroads

The remnants of palms clutter the road

The echoes of “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”

Lingers

And just that quick

Humanity’s fickleness saturates the atmosphere,

We have forgotten about the Grace and Mercy

In and with and because of Jesus Christ!

This ancient society was so wrapped up in this persona

Jesus the King!

Jesus the Sovereign!

Jesus the Savior of the World!

And yes, these things are truth.

But,

Not grasping that Jesus is much more

Than about the business of condemning or judging

(pause)

Those who followed Him

Were waiting for Jesus to rise up,

And destroy their oppressors

The invaders

Caesar!

Not realizing that Jesus Christ came to destroy

the evil that lurks within them

(pause)

We, too cling to this idea of God as Vengeance

Jesus as Mighty!

Jesus as Ruler!

We wait for Jesus to eliminate everyone

who doesn’t acknowledge that He

Is the only Way, the Truth, The Life

Not adhering to Jesus’s Word-

To Love one another,

Even in our difficulties

Even in our differences

Not wanting to see Jesus as commoner,

Who instructed His disciples to carry nothing

But themselves

Who through His example, we should live as such

Jesus as Outcast,

sharing and being with those who were not welcomed at our tables

Jesus as Healer,

Healer of all,

Healing and raising from the dead, a woman’s son

Neither one of them believers in Jesus,

Or even knowing Jesus

And the idea that Jesus Christ, the Son of God

Invites ALL, all of us in with Him

Regardless of how we worship the Divine

Is frightening

And challenges our prejudices.

(pause)

Instead, we in the crowd, cower to the demands of leaders shouting

Shrieking

Howling

“Crucify Him!”

Crucify Him,

Because this Jesus refuses to conform

to their hierarchy and their demands

Crucify Him,

Because Jesus refuses to get into that box

Which holds our idealistic portrait of Him

Crucify Him

Because Jesus has the gall that we are really supposed to follow Him?

Jesus is just a figuredhead,

We’re saved, right?

So then that excuses our behavior

And we can get on with this dependency of human authority

Of self-indulgence

Of egotism

Forsaking sacredness enveloped in Love

Forsaking this gift of Jesus Christ who through His sacrifice,

Removes all of our sins,

So then there are no boundaries

Keeping us from one another

Keeping us from God

(pause)

Jesus Christ

His Commands

His Teachings

His Righteous Anger, yes!

Jesus was Angry,

Jesus was Sorrowful-

But who Jesus IS

Jolts us into the reality

That WE ARE NOT IN CONTROL

That WE ARE NOT GOD

No matter how pitifully we attempt to exalt ourselves

Or misrepresent God, Our Redeemer

(pause)

And when we reject Jesus’s consistent,

Certain,

Unwavering LOVE and Forgiveness

Our lives,

The circumstances

Makes us feel as if we are being punished,

Forced to march before the world hauling our burdens

Weighing down our souls

Tortured,

Because the world we tried to embrace, discards us

We find ourselves weeping,

Crying

Alone.

 “Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress”

How many of us have cried this out?

How many wonder, if Jesus Himself cried this out?

Why is that hard to imagine?

Jesus Christ, many argue, knew of His mission that God sent Him

But again,

If Jesus was to experience our lives as human,

Would then part of who He was in that moment,

Experience the shock,

Of a people

With no compassion?

(pause)

“Our senses attach all the scorn,

All the revulsion,

All the hatred

That our reason attaches to crime, to affliction…

Everybody despise the afflicted to some extent,

Although practically,

No one is conscious of it.”

These words from Simone Weil,

A French Christian mystic and activist,

Pinpoints the astonishment of how foul humanity can be

Reverberates and carries the lament in the Psalms

“I have been forgotten like one who is dead,

I have become like a broken vessel..

As they scheme together against me,

As they plot to take my life.”

Suddenly,

When we have gone against the grain,

When we have displeased this world

Because we decide that those who struggle with mental illness

Need to be treated with dignity,

Because we decide that those who have broken the law,

Need to be treated as human

Because we decide that those who have given of themselves,

Our elders,

Need to be treated with respect

Cared for,

And that the laws that protect the able bodied citizen

Should also protect those who are consider least of these,

When we actually live out our faith generously

Just as Jesus Christ extended and gave of himself

Suddenly,

Just as Jesus,

The world wants to crucify us,

Not in the violent way that Jesus’s gave of His life

But,

The world wants to make us an example

The world works humanity in a frenzy,

Pointing fingers,

Telling us

We are wrong.

(pause)

At a peaceful protest this past week,

Where Lutherans and Presbyterians were joined together,

Singing hymns of peace and justice

Being that presence that Jesus Christ calls us to be

People walked up to them,

Screamed in their faces

Questioning Women Pastors, in their clerical collars

That their ordination was not valid

Telling others that they needed to go back and read the Bible

About the wrath of God

Telling them they were on the wrong side,

That they would perish in Hell,

Merely because they were standing up for all,

Merely because they were following Jesus Christ,

And Christ command,

To Love one another

And I can not stress that enough

Loving One Another,

As God, Our Creator, Our Parent loves US

Is NOT A SUGGESTION

IT’S A COMMAND

You don’t get to pick and choose who you love,

Or for that matter who gets forgiveness

We ALL COME FROM GOD

And we shall all RETURN TO GOD

(pause)

And isn’t that Good News!

“But I trust in YOU, O LORD

Make your face shine on your servant,

Save me in your steadfast LOVE”

That benediction blesses us,

Goes out with us,

“The Lord make His face shine on you,

And be gracious to you”

The Good News of Jesus Christ

Is that whatever we do,

Whatever we don’t do

WE are FORGIVEN

When Jesus broke bread with His Disciples,

He shared of HIMSELF WITH ALL OF THEM,

Even Judas,

Even though Jesus KNEW of the betrayal that had to come-

For the fulfillment of God’s Word,

Jesus Christ broke bread and gave it to all of them,

To all of US

Jesus shared of the wine,

Just as His blood

Because God Loved Him,

And US

Even when,

We are horrible to one another,

Even as

These people were horrible to Jesus Christ

And still Jesus cries out

“Father forgive them,

For they know not what they do!”

Jesus Christ is the one afflicted,

Scorned

Brutalized

But Jesus Christ trusted in God

Make your face shine on your servant

Save me in your steadfast love!”

(pause)

“Into your hands,

I commit my Spirit!”

When we are at our low point,

When we have been beaten,

Brutalized

Crushed,

Somewhere, deep within us

We call out to God,

To come quickly,

And enfold us into Godself,

Just as God

Who reached down into death itself

And would enfold His Son

So don’t worry,

No fear,

Death is not the end

And

Sunday, is on the way.

Thanks Be to God.

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