Monday, March 25, 2013
The week that changed the world
I am still getting used to writing a weekly blog, under the watchful eye of JJ, our Communications Director. She assures me that it’s worth doing and that you are actually interested in these ideas rattling in my head. I find that hard to believe; not the part about things bouncing about in my brain, but that folks are actually interested. I must admit the comments about my blog have all been very kind. Truth be told, some are better than the blog!
My blog mentor insists that I keep it both thoughtful and humorous. Easy for her to say, she's not writing them! But it seems to be sound advice. How else could I get away with talking about the importance of Heinz ketchup and the theological implications of Selection Sunday?
This week, however, is different. No humor that I can see, but there is a lot to think about.
This is the week that changed the world. Oh, it starts out fine enough with a parade into Jerusalem. Lots of cheering from the crowds and waving palm branches. There’s nothing quite like a parade.
The twist is that it’s all downhill after that. Luke tells us that when Jesus saw the Holy City, he wept over it. It’s hard to imagine how just seeing a city could do that to you. Of course it wasn’t the city so much as it was the mission he was on for the people he loved. I think that's what got to him, the people he loved. Anything that brings Jesus to tears must be worth my attention.
And it goes from bad to worse. He upset the tables of the money-changers. He got in the face of the religious leaders. He scolded them and told them they had turned the church into a den a thieves, when it's supposed to be a house of prayer.
It really makes me wonder how Jesus feels about the prayer life of Sardis. Seems as if he’s less interested in activities and more concerned about your spiritual well being.
Well, Jesus doesn’t turn tables over these days. But he still upsets people and turns the world upside down with his outrageous demands. You know, commandments about forgiving without calculating, loving without keeping score and caring for others, especially those who get the table scraps.
He talks about losing your life in order to save it. Says everyone matters and no one has any room to brag in the church, especially not the clergy type or the pious holier than thou type. There’s nothing worse than hypocrisy, in his book. Then you toss in the notion that the light rail to heaven has nothing to do with how good you are, how long you’ve been a member, the number of diplomas you have framed, the address on your mail box, or the size of your bank account. Instead he says it all comes down to grace through faith. It’s a gift that no one can earn and no one deserves. No one.
Why, such talk could get you crucified. And it did.