Today I was reading from the book of Luke and was reminded of what it must have been like when Jesus said goodbye to his friends and disciples. It wasn’t a time that he packed his bags and found a new job in a new city, but a time when life was literally cut short. Voluntarily, Jesus went to the cross- but that didn’t make it any easier.
There is a particular passage that I caught for perhaps the first time. It’s when the women are weeping as Jesus passes them by on the way to Calvary. He looks at them and, with a word of both comfort and challenge, tells them that they should be weeping for the generations to come. It’s as though He is saying, you think it’s bad right now? There will be a day when the tree (the cross) is not green, but brown- and on that day things will even be worse.
As I have been reflecting on this past year, I can’t help but to notice how things have gone from bad to worse in our country. Of course, the obvious place to look is the economy, the infighting politically, wartime, and family turmoil. But that’s not what I mean. People have become more and more oblivious to the love and grace of God. They have managed so well at avoiding the most obvious source of all that is good- Jesus himself.
As I reflect, I also think of the church that, in many ways, has become just as oblivious. We sit around weeping for ourselves, while the world around us has no one to intercede for them. It’s much easier for us to judge them and live our own “blessed” lives. At least it has been…but maybe not so much anymore. In fact, the stuff that is is affecting all of us on the outside may be just the thing we need to shake us up on the inside.
As I reflect, I think of Jesus passing us by as we’re weeping for ourselves, our financial issues and things not going as we wanted them to go. Maybe we are weeping because we are afraid of what this means for us. And then Jesus passes by and says- don’t just weep for Me, and don’t just weep for you- but weep and intercede and care for those who have no concept.
As I reflect, I want to go into 2009 with an attitude of intercession, love and hope. As the government is creating bail-out plans, let’s remember that the greatest bail out ever took place on a cross and that the way is open to anyone who would say yes. Reflect with me.