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Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Today’s Scripture Reading | Luke 9:51–62
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to prepare for his arrival, but they did not receive him because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” And Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (NRSV)
Whenever I reflect on a passage, I try to find the “good news.” I ask myself, “Where is the hope in this?” To be quite honest, I’m not sure if it’s the passage or the general state of despair in the world or the stress in my personal life that has me struggling to find any hope or good news in this. Like Jesus turning to rebuke his disciples, I, too, feel on edge and want to lash out at anyone who speaks to me.
Perhaps there’s something in that—a modicum of grace that if Jesus could get a bit snippy, I can give myself some grace when I get snippy as well. If Jesus came to earth to become “truly human,” he must have known the full spectrum of human emotions. I can only imagine what feelings he must have been experiencing as “he set his face to go to Jerusalem.” As I process my own emotions related to feeling viewed as a second-class citizen who shouldn’t have guaranteed basic human rights in the eyes of those in power, may I turn to belief in Jesus Christ for a sense of peace.
Dear God, you know what is in my heart that I can’t articulate into a prayer. Instead, may the words of the Nicene Creed remind me that I believe in “one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father” and that “For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.” Amen.
Written by Katrina Buchanan, Editorial Assistant
Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church
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