Second Sunday in Lent
March 12, 2022
First Reading: Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Second Reading: Philippians 3:17, 4-1
Gospel: Luke: 13:31-35
O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God for ever and ever. Amen
“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord”
Our prayers for the people of Ukraine, should be constant. We realize just how blessed and grateful…for what we have here in the United States, realizing how quickly things could change.
Prayer and turning to scriptures can help and I did find comfort in the scriptures for this Sunday. And while we are together, there is nothing wrong with seeking comfort from others.
Thessalonians 5:11 tells us that we are to encourage each other. However, it is true we can’t rely on earthly things to bring real lasting comfort, but the Psalmist tells us that there is a place we can go to find real lasting comfort.
Psalms 27 1-5
- The Lord is my light my salvation; whom then shall, I fear? * The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?
- When evildoers came upon me to eat up my flesh, * it was they, my foes and my adversaries, who stumbled and fell.
- Though an army should encamp against me, * yet my heart shall not be afraid;
- And though war should rise up against me, * yet will I put my trust in him.
- One thing have I asked of the Lord; one thing I seek; * that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
Those who have lost their lives in Ukraine will dwell in the house of the Lord.
Jesus is busy, he’s out and about working and doing his job, that he was sent to do.
As He, passes through Galilee, he is in the territory of Herod and he is warned by some of the Pharisees “Get away from here, for Herod what’s to kill you.”
Jesus has no intention of leaving, He is not afraid of this threat and in fact He calls Herod a fox, and to them, this is unflattering.
Jesus lets them know, He is not giving up his ministry, which has not reached its goal, his mission and his redemption.
Jesus adds by saying, yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.
Why does he say this? because, for hundreds of years, prophets made this journey only to meet their end in Jerusalem?
Jesus isn’t going to be killed outside Jerusalem, it has to end in Jerusalem. But he is the only one who knows this.
Instead of getting angry and wanting revenge, this is not how Jesus lives. He laments, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! He wants to protect his people like a mother hen protects her chicks.
Jesus does know His cross is coming, in Luke 9:53, we read “when the days draw near to Him to be taken up, He set His face to go to Jerusalem.”
Jesus recognizes the threat from Herod, but He also knows the greater threat to His life: Jerusalem. And Jesus is not worried about Herod, because Herod has no Jurisdiction over Jerusalem, only Galilee. And Everywhere Jesus goes, there were always religious authorities who opposed Him and viewed him as a threat.
Again, Jesus is not concerned but continues to do the work He is called to do, which is the will of God.
He ends with…
“And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.”
The mother hen is not a fighter who always emerges victorious, when she sees an eagle or a falcon, that puts her chicks in danger, she can only stand in front of danger, spread her wings and offer herself in defense of her young.
Today, president Zelenskyy of Ukraine, once an actor and a comedian, took on the role and was elected by the people as their president.
He has work to do, for the country he was elected to serve and now, he has been threatened and in danger of being killed, but instead of fleeing the country, like so many others have done, he has no intentions of leaving his people, he rolls up his sleeves and practically scoffs at the President of Russia. If he could, he would spread his arms out around his people to protect them, this man, this president shows tremendous courage.
Jesus offers himself for us, he spreads His arms out on the cross to save all of God’s children.
Romans 15 tells us that “For what so ever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
We may not understand exactly why Christ has to die in order for humanity to be redeemed, but we must allow God’s purposes to be fulfilled whether or not we fully understand or agree with what takes place.
In our own lives, we often make judgments about why certain things happen to God’s people without fully knowing the breath of God’s plan for us.
So, as we travel this road in lent with Jesus and in real life, let us remember the best comfort we find in Scriptures is that Christ died for us and God’s word has the ability to give us life in the midst of any circumstance, life that is made up of hope, joy, praise, and strength, in this ever difficult and changing world.
Psalms 27: 1, 4 The Lord is my light my salvation; whom then shall, I fear? * The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid? And though war should rise up against me, * yet will I put my trust in him.
The Reverend Lola Culbreath