March 18, 2018

The word of God arrives as loud as thunder or as quiet as light and has been written in both stone and on our hearts.

 

 

Jeremiah 31:31-34 – Covenant making is serious business! The prophet alludes to the time when the covenant (law, commandments) was written in stone. In this latter day, that covenant will be written on the hearts of the people. The preacher might examine the modern desire for the covenant to be written instead on an erasable board, where certain adjustments can be made. Reference could be made to a scene in Pirates of the Caribbean when Elizabeth complains to pirate captain Barbossa that he’s not following The (pirates’) Code, to which he says, “….the code is more like guidelines than actual rules.”

 Psalm 119:9-16 – Early in the long poem that is Psalm 119 is help for young people. The psalmist is positioned as such a young person and owns the strategy for keeping his own way pure throughout. The preacher might reflect how one’s counsel is stronger in the midst of the storm than in its aftermath, or as a mere storm-watcher, as the counselor identifies quite precisely with the struggle. Meditation on this longest of psalms (and chapters of the entire Bible) is always time well spent.

 Hebrews 5:5-10 – As we from time to time consider our “call,” we might do well to remember Bishop Reuben Job saying that the only reasonable answer to God’s call is “yes.” As late Lent unfolds, Jesus’ answer to the call to suffer comes into stark relief with our versions of obedience. The preacher might consider the tension in which that places us, amid our own suffering or as witnesses of, or as allies with, all those who suffer.

 John 12:2-33 – Out of the thunder arrives a voice that confirms Jesus’ identity as the one who also bears the name of God. In this moment when the world (some Greeks) seeks him out, Holy Week comes into view. The preacher might examine this precipitous moment, one where Jesus still has a choice to proceed or not. How do we proceed when the signs align but danger lurks ahead? Perhaps one might consider that if the pursuit of justice and righteousness were easy, more people would be on that track.