We have a hard time understanding the importance of clothing in the ancient world. We readily give things to Goodwill when our clothes go out of style or simply throw them away when they become worn. But in the ancient world clothing was so central to life that there were laws against taking someone’s cloak because that cloak may be all that they have.
We meet Jesus at the Table – to be fed, to be restored, to be encouraged, to be reminded not of who we were, but of who we are. Once Jesus has come into your life, once Jesus has touched your life, you can never be the same, ever again. You may go back to your profession but you will not go back to your old way of life, your old way of looking at things.
I charge you, do not be afraid of your doubts. Don’t let them control your life or separate you from God. Seek the fellowship of God’s people, be faithful in answering God’s call and claim upon your life. Remember, in life and in death we belong not to ourselves but to God, in whose image each and every one of us has been made.
The Risen Lord comes to us most days of our lives in manifestations that we do not recognize. When we show an act of kindness to a stranger or help someone in need, we are really ministering to Christ.
Our Gospel is kind of a “game of thrones” as three powers vie for control. The convergence of these forces sets the stage for Holy Week. Their battle dates back to the very dawn of the first humans. Their story is as relevant as Today and as new as Tomorrow.
When we’ve been touched by Christ we aren’t wasteful but we are extravagant. We are different. The Old Testament prophet Micah asked, “With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? That is a question for the ages, isn’t it? How should I respond to a generous God? That depends; how great is your Gratitude?
This gospel lesson is one of, if not the most familiar of Jesus’ parables. Almost everyone can identify with it – a father or mother who patiently waits for their son or daughter to “return to their senses”, the individual who squandered opportunities, the person who wonders about “fairness”.
The Third Sunday of Lent, Sunday, March 24th, 2019
God’s greatest gift to each one of us is “time”. Each one of us has a limited amount of time before the game of our life comes to an end. We have a limited amount to time to do the work that God placed us on this earth to do. There is time for second chances, sure, and even comebacks, but we do not have forever.
All of us have a Jerusalem, that place where we do not want Jesus to go; that place where we like to think that God does not see or know about. But here’s the thing; Jesus goes to Jerusalem. God knows that which we try so desperately to hide. All of this may seem like bad news, but it is also good news, gospel. Jesus went to Jerusalem where he was celebrated one day, betrayed, denied, and crucified before the week’s end. But the story did not end there. We are journeying toward Easter where the best news is found. The news that the women first heard so long ago that still gives hope today.