Tag Archives: Lent

Jesus’ Timing

Superstar

If you have followed my blog for a while, you may remember that during Lent I listen to “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Although it’s an artistic musing, it does cause me to think of my scripture reading from a different perspective. In the recording, Judas asks why Jesus came, “in such a backward time in such a strange land.” He goes on to say, “If you’d come today, you’d have reached a whole nation. Israel in 4 BC had no mass communication.”

It’s a fair question, and I pondered it for a while and arrived at an answer that at least makes sense to me.

I think that Jesus’ aim was to inspire, teach, challenge, and demand that we take things into our own hands and do God’s work. It is up to us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and perform such works in His name and to give glory to the Father.

But what if He had chosen today? I suspect for a while He would be the top story on the news and a meme on the internet. But would we take Him any more seriously? Personally I doubt it. Besides, in a few days some other story would have pushed him out of the limelight.

It was within His power to solve all our problems – disease; poverty; everything. Instead, He solved the biggest problem – our separation from God.

The rest is up to us, but don’t worry. He taught us how.

What the Elder Son Teaches Us

It was another soccer tournament weekend. It’s Monday and back to work, where at least the schedule is more predictable.

At least the games were spaced so I could catch church on Sunday.

Rembrandt van Rijn

Rembrandt van Rijn

The Gospel was the story of the Prodigal Son, which is often dissatisfying because it just doesn’t seem fair.

If the Prodigal Son story played out today, I’m sure there would be at least one lawsuit.

Our deacon gave the homily, and pointed out that the son who stayed home figured may not have merely been loyal and altruistic. The way he looked at it, he was taking care of his upcoming inheritance, so in effect, he was working for himself. Since he was focused on what he expected to get, he didn’t realize and appreciate all the things he had every day.

However, what he said next was what struck me. The deacon suggested that every night when the family gathers for dinner, we should start a litany of all the things we have to be thankful for. He suggested starting small, with such things as life, spouse, children. Each day add a couple of more things. By the end of Lent we may all realize just how blessed we are.

I thought it was a good enough idea that I should share it.

Mardi Gras

Laissez le bon temp roulette!

Laissez le bon temp roulet!

Carnival is winding down – the raucous celebration that culminates with Mardi Gras, the day before Lent begins. Originally it was “one last fling” before 40 days of fasting and praying.

Forty days commemorated Jesus’ 40 days of fasting and praying in the desert.

But don’t forget – Jesus showed us both sides of the coin. He also ate and drank with the dregs of society – the prostitutes, tax collectors and lepers. He was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard.

I think that the message from Jesus was a reminder of the verse from Ecclesiastes, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

There’s a time for enjoying the good things that God has given us and a time to be penitent.

Whatever gets you closer to God.