“Jesus was to die
to gather together
the scattered children of God.”
Tomorrow with the celebration of Palm / Passion Sunday we begin Holy Week.
The scriptures of these final days of Lent have highlighted the diversity of reactions to Jesus, to his words and to his witness.
Some people love Jesus and others hate him.
Some delight in his miracles and others see these wonders as evidence that he is possessed by evil.
There are people who give their lives to follow Jesus and to promote his cause.
While others keep their distance and ignore him.
In short, to use the language of today’s scriptures, the people scatter in every direction in response to Jesus.
It seems the very unity and peace that Jesus sought to bring was most elusive, and with every encounter it became clear that his Palm Sunday entry into Jerusalem would lead to his execution.
In the two thousand years since the scatter pattern has repeated in every age with some attracted, some resisting, some loving, others hating.
Encounter with Jesus not only requires but demands a response. A person who is fully engaged with life cannot remain indifferent or lukewarm to Jesus.
I have no doubt that everyone reading this FFF post has been encountered by God. I’m not being clumsy saying “encountered by God” instead of “has encountered God” – just remembering that encounter with Jesus is always a divine initiative rather than a human achievement.
Our challenge is, just like the people who were met by Jesus 2000 years ago, we are being daily bombarded with voices to which we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, scattering ourselves in every direction.
If we try to weigh up the pros and cons of staying with Jesus to Jerusalem we will find ourselves before an impossible decision with scattered mind and heart in every direction.
But if we take time in stillness and silence, savouring friendship with Jesus, asking him to reveal himself to us in the scattered reality of our lives, everything falls into place and we realise that the alternative to living in comfort feeling restless and alone is the much more fulfilling adventure of being in relationship with the divine, not only to but THROUGH suffering and death.
You might like to take time today, in preparation for Palm Sunday, asking Jesus to lead you beyond the scattered mind and heart reality of your life today to the fulness of life not only for eternity, but here and now, today.