Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Tuesday, 03/06/12

Gospel: Mark 3:19b-35
Old Testament: Genesis 42:1-17
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 5:1-8
Psalms: 61, 62, 68

“But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.”  Mark 3:27

How can we become the strong man?  Or woman?  Sometimes
during Lent we become so focused on the sacrifice, the reverence, the discipline, that we forgot why we are sacrificing in the first place…
to be like the strong man in Jesus’ story, to protect our home. 

How do we want to protect our home?  And what are we protecting?  Well, let’s start with the second question first.  “Here are my mother and my brothers!  Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”  Jesus radically expands the definition of family for his followers, breaking with conventional wisdom that one should put “family,” blood relatives first.  For Jesus, our family (our house), are all those who do the will of God. 

How do we  protect our Christian family?  Our house?  “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.  He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken.”  (Psalm 62)  If we allow ourselves to rely on God, we can find this strength.   As Christians, we believe God changes our lives – protects us from evil and strengthens us against adversity.  

Lent is a time to strengthen ourselves, gird ourselves against the pressures of the world, and prepare ourselves to protect our Christian family.  The beauty of Christianity, of course, is that we are all the strong men; we are all working to protect each other.  And instead of being the archetypical strongpersons trying to vanquish their foes, we are looking to welcome newcomers into our church home, always inviting others to share in the power of the Holy Spirit.  But we can’t share in the power of the Holy Spirit unless we understand the power of the Holy Spirit. 

So here we are in Lent, seeking to better understand God’s work in the world… and how the Holy Spirit can work within each of us.


No comments: