From Chris Dodds
So here we are again, awaiting the results of another Super Tuesday. There are candidate speeches, promises, claims and counterclaims, as hopefuls share their visions for peace, prosperity and the salvation of the country. As someone ineligible to vote, this typically leaves me somewhat bewildered at the sheer spectacle, but recently I’ve noticed myself becoming more and more angry about things that are being said and endorsed in our Lord’s name. My blood boils as “Christian” endorsements are given for policies I consider completely un-Christlike. As I’ve spent time in prayer and reflection however, I’ve been convicted that my response should be less one of anger and more of weeping. Why? Because this support in the church for ungodliness reveals less about a possible crisis in politics and more about a crisis of discipleship in the church.
In Today’s scripture we see Jesus make his approach to Jerusalem, and as he does he weeps. He’s come to seek and to save the lost and to direct their feet into the path of peace, but the things that make for peace have been hidden from their eyes (v42). Power has corrupted and the heart and purposes of God are absent from the institutional worship and practices of the people elected to be a light for the world. The temple has become a den of robbers (v46). Our reading however, does leave us with an interesting scene. While the chief priests and scribes and principal men of the people were seeking to destroy Jesus, the people were hanging onto his words (v49).
Whose words are we hanging onto in this season?
Amidst competing visions and values, and different understandings of the things that lead to peace, are we first and foremost grounded in the Word of God? Our Christian faith isn’t a matter of self-identifying with Jesus and then living independently from him, it is about hearing his word and obeying, walking in his ways, taking up our cross and following - wrestling earnestly and prayerfully with the guidance of the Holy Spirit about how we obey his Lordship in every aspect of our lives. We are called to be disciples, and like Mary, to choose the better portion.
I mentioned already my conviction that beyond any anger we may feel in this season, we should also weep as Jesus did at the blindness of our culture. But this weeping doesn’t leave us sitting sadly and passively in a corner. It is a weeping that compels us and encourages us onward in our mission. A weeping that comes from compassion and a desire for more for people, a longing for eyes to be opened to Christ and his Kingdom, and a longing that true peace be known. Weeping at our sins and the sins of our culture reminds us of our need to hang on more closely to the Word - reminds us of our undertaking as followers to make disciples and to proclaim the word, to teach the word and to gather in triads and Neighborhood Groups, and cohorts, and families to discuss and apply the word. It reminds us that we must be about the task of discipleship, sharing the conviction of Paul who strived to present everyone mature in Christ.
Fueled with a divine love and compassion Jesus walked his path resolutely to the cross of Calvary, conquering sin and death and establishing peace between God and humankind. We must now walk with this same compassion and love to proclaim this news, clear in our convictions that whatever the plans of leaders being made around us, we will be a people hanging onto Jesus’ words, and resolute in our faithfulness to them.