Disciples, Apostles, and Saints!
This week, we enter the part of the lectionary season that I struggle with the most. If we were reading the gospel straight through, we’d know that, since last Sunday, Jesus has entered Jerusalem. He has shamed Temple leaders and disrupted the Temple’s commerce. And, if we recall, they’ve wanted him dead for awhile.
That isn’t clear in the lectionary. Our readings over the next few weeks reflect the naked politics of the powerful confronting Jesus on his authority, theology, and purpose. And of Jesus turning the tables and shaming them in front of everybody. These readings need to be read with this context of conflict in mind.
As the story continues, we can see that the conflict is necessary. Not as a desire, but as the inevitable result of challenging the establishment and staging a public demonstration. Jesus came to Jerusalem, preparing to be killed. He knows what will happen because he knows that some will reject the Kin-dom. This isn’t pretty, but it is the story. And it reveals God’s glory in the resurrection.
Next week, October 8th, the people of St. Stephen’s will explore our common story, to better understand ourselves, our hopes and motivations, and what makes our congregation special. I hope you join us for this time together.
Because it is our sense of the story, and how all of it fits together, that helps us know who we are. And what we are called to do. Especially in light of our relationship to God and Jesus’s Way of Love.