Tuesday in Holy Week

 

Prayer: O God, by the passion of your blessed Son, you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shave and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Lessons: Isaiah 49:1-6            Psalm 71:1-12             Mark 11:15-19

 

In our culture, rarely are people lauded for their lack of wisdom or influence or strength. They aren’t chosen for rewards or promotions or front-page stories. Instead, often, they are ignored, shunned, ridiculed or seen as objects of a distant pity.

 

Yet, who does God choose? 

            Those without human wisdom.

            Those without human influence.

            The weak.  (1 Cor. 1:26-31)

 

Of course, by this act of choosing, God draws God’s chosen into wisdom, influence and strength.  It is not the temporal wisdom of human scholarship or the passing influence of a CEO or the fleeting strength of the athlete. It is the eternal wisdom, the deeper influence and the unsurpassed strength given by the One who created us to love and be loved.

 

Isaiah proclaimed that God’s people are to be “light” in a darkened world.  Jesus came to show a brighter light that leads us into deeper relationship with God and with one another.  Yet, too often, our priorities reflect human darkness rather than grace-filled light.  We choose the glory of temporal wisdom, passing influence and fleeting strength.  And, even though the world may proclaim us as good, we experience an emptiness too deep for words, a darkness of the soul. 

 

During this Holy Week, may we reflect on the darkness we choose—the choices we make that separate us from God and from others. Let us consciously choose to turn towards the light.  And when temptations grow, may we join with psalmist and pray “O God, be not far from me; come quickly to help me, O my God.” (Ps.71:12)

 

Susan Terry+

Trinity Church, Lawrence

St. Paul's Episcopal Church

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