Pondering for Monday, April 3, 2023

Daily Office Readings for Monday of Holy Week: Year 1

Morning, Psalm 51:1-18; Evening, Psalm 69:1-23
 Jeremiah 12:1 to 16Philippians 3:1 to 14John 12:9  to 19:  

“The Pharisees then said to one another, ‘You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!”  (John 12:19)

As I ponder the Gospels more and more, I find myself fascinated by the words that come from those who had an adversarial relationship with Jesus. An example is Pontius Pilate at the request for crucifixion and his asking the chief priests, “what evil has he done, (Mark 15:14). And now this statement from the Pharisees, “Look, the world has gone after him.”

Oh, how I wish it were so.  What would this world be like if in fact all in the world followed our Lord Jesus?  For one, the police and military would be greatly reduced. Oh, we would probably still have bad actors but they would be more easily identified and put away for long periods of time, but not executed.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating for all people to be Christian. But if we were, there would be a universal understanding about what is acceptable in loving behavior. We would strive to care more for the less fortunate and infirmed. We would give more time, talent and treasure for the needy in a more joyful way.

Another way we would behave as real followers of Jesus is to not go after people who are not believing in the same way that we do. Our Lord Jesus often used outsiders as examples of righteousness rather than those who were in his immediate circle; for example, the Good Samaritan, (Luke 10: 29 to 37),  and the Canaanite Woman with a daughter possessed with an evil spirit, (Matthew 15: 21 to 28). Our Lord Jesus showed the same amount of love and respect to so-called outsiders that he showed to those who were very close. As true Christians there is no room for “us/them.” We are all one in Christ Jesus. So what if the world has gone after him?  Well, my beloved in the Lord, it really starts with you and me, one person at a time. In this way we bring heaven to earth. In this way, God’s Will, will be done on earth as in heaven.

Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine and Russia and our schools.

As we listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to us, let us live to love and serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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