In Entering the Passion of Jesus, author, professor, and biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine explores the biblical texts surrounding the Passion story. She shows us how the text raises ethical and spiritual questions for the reader, and how we all face risk in our Christian experience.
Ponder: Picture yourself as a part of the crowd, what are you crying out? Are you thinking of a political revolution, or of peace? What do you need saving from today? What does our community need to be saved from today?
“Christians will be found in the neighbourhood of Jesus – but Jesus is found in the neighbourhood of human confusion and suffering, defencelessly alongside those in need. If being baptized is being led to where Jesus is, then being baptized is being led towards the chaos and the neediness of a humanity that has forgotten its own destiny.”
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.
There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him.
Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.)
Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”
Ponder: What are you willing to place at the feet of Jesus this Lent? What have you been saving for the right time, perhaps today is the day?
Today’s addition to the Lenten Playlist is the song Jesu, sung by the late Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu from “‘The Gospel Album.” Gurrumul reimagines many of the songs that he grew up hearing from methodist missionaries, in church with his family.
Ponder: As you listen to this song pay attention to the way it moves you. What songs about Jesus have you grown up with? What songs about Jesus do you sing today? How has music shaped how you imagine Jesus?
This week’s reflection is by Chris Dodd, thank you Chris for sharing this with us and being open with your own journey and image of Jesus.
The older I get, the less I know, the less I understand, the less I am sure of. When I was younger I was raised expecting to believe the whole deal.
Jesus was the literal son of God.
He did miracles.
He raised people from the dead.
He died for our sins.
He rose from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and one day He’ll come back again.
But these days, I find a lot of that does not sit comfortably with me. I have no experience of the supernatural and I have found I have no need of it for Jesus to be meaningful to me. In fact, the more fantastic the claim, the more it makes me uneasy.
So I have cut Jesus back to bare bones.
He was a really good and wise man.
He saw it all so differently, so new, so fresh.
In a violent and brutal world He taught about love, faith and hope.
The early writers may have chosen to express this in mythical ways, but behind it all is this really meaningful and worthwhile way to live life.
A life of love.
A life not being controlled by base impulses of revenge and hate, which never ends well.
A life of inclusiveness and acceptance.
A life that acknowledges that God embraces us, works with us as we are, and it’s not up to me (or anyone else) to decide who’s in and who’s out.
Whether all the miraculous things are true or not doesn’t bother me. The life described above is sufficient, and if I’m wrong I’m prepared to take the risk.
Ponder: Spend some time today reflecting and writing what makes Jesus meaningful / important to you today