Weekly Reflection (NEW!)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
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With this devotion we begin a series of reflections on the Passion of Christ that will take us through Lent and Holy Week. It is my prayer that these meditations will strengthen your discipleship as we consider the path our Lord chose in his betrayal, arrest, trial, crucifixion and death.
Please read Luke 22:1-13 in your Bible.
Preparations are taking place--preparations for an execution and preparations for a holiday meal. Both the meal and the execution are ancient forms practiced since before written history. The meal is the Passover. The night when all the faithful gathered together in their homes with family and friends to celebrate and hear how God lead them out of slavery in Egypt, through the Red Sea and into the Promised Land. It is a meal of remembrance. It is a meal of promise. It is a meal of hope. The execution will happen to Jesus of Nazareth. The religious elite, Judas Iscariot, and Satan have aligned themselves against this man. They want him dead because he is a radical. They want him dead because he is too popular with the people. They want him dead before the Romans notice him and use it as an excuse to slaughter the nation. So these two tracks of preparations are taking place. The preparations for the meal will lead to great promise and great gifts. The preparations for the execution will lead to the death of God's Son.
So you say, "We must choose which preparations we will join." Oh, if only life was that simply. If only life was that cut and dried. Judas must have known this ambiguity. He was an impatient man wanting to force Jesus to take his place as the conquering Messiah. He thought he could control God. His evil preparations are in vain. The religious elite craved power more than God's reign. They too thought they could control God. Their preparations wish to put God in a box of their own choosing.
How often we too wish to put God in that box. We want God to be put away when all is well. We want God to be put away when what we do shames us. We want God to be put away until something comes up-some need or wish. God is not our genie. God will not be contained despite the best preparations. Even the disciples who prepare the meal have little suspicion of the miraculous, loving act about to take place. For the disciples it is just another Passover with their rabbi and master. But God will not be contained in that box either. There is a new, wonderful, and powerful event about to take place that no one except Jesus sees coming.
Lent is a season of preparation. We journey with Jesus to the cross and to the tomb as we prepare for the joy of Christ's resurrection, the new, wonderful, and powerful event that changes all of creation forever. I invite you to make preparations during this season. I invite you to prepare through reading the Bible, prayer, meditation, acts of service or fasting. These preparations, however, are not so you can control what will happen to you. No, these preparations are so your world, life, and reality can be blown wide open by the new, wonderful, and powerful events God has in store for you and all creation.
Pray for your own preparations this Lent that God will make you faithful to these tasks, give you the discipline to see them through, and open your life to wherever God leads.
Pitt students: Have a rest filled break! See you in a week.