Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wednesday in Holy Week

Psalm 55  Jeremiah 17:5-10, 14-17  Philippians 4:1-13  John 12:27-36

I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
I would flee far away
And stay in the desert;
I would hurry to my place of shelter,
Far from the tempest and storm.”
  Psalm 55:6-8

We know that the dark days are upon us. Just as Jesus knew in John 12, we know today that his death is once again uncomfortably close. It would be easy to read the words of Psalm 55 and Jeremiah 17 as the unspoken words of Christ. But what if these are also our words? “Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me.” (Psalm 55:1) These days of ours do feel dark at times. It has certainly felt that way on grounds this past year. It certainly continues to feel this way for many people of color in our society who have resonated with the cry “I can’t breathe!” Sometimes we can only see the darkness and want to fly away to a place of shelter from the storm. We might hear our voice in the urgent cry in Jeremiah, “Where is the word of the Lord? Let it now be fulfilled!” (Jer 17:15) We cannot keep waiting. Our times are urgent.

As Jesus tells the crowd about his impending death, they find themselves getting caught up in their questions. They want to know more. He is about to leave them and they need to understand! “. . . how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is the ‘Son of Man’?” But Jesus responds without answering their questions, instead saying, “Walk while you have the light, before the darkness overtakes you. . . . Believe in the light, so that you may become children of light” (John 12:35-36) Some commentators rephrase this as, “According to the light you have, walk.” Don’t wait for the light to be perfect. Don’t wait for your doubts to pass, for the path to be straight, for perfect understanding. Don’t wait for a perfect faith. The times are too urgent to wait. Our world needs us now, not on Easter Sunday. Because— today—someone needs you to walk in the light you have. Imperfectly, awkwardly, restlessly.

Become the children of the light by walking in the light you have, because this is not a day to wait, it is a day to walk. “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Phil. 4:8)

— Gillian Breckenridge

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