READINGOld Testament: Jeremiah 7:1-15
Psalms: Psalms 80
New Testament: Romans 4:1-12
Gospel: John 7:14-36
Evening Psalms: Psalms 77, 79
”Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, ‘Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.’”
Time flies and the means by which we receive good news changes quickly. I remember going to the post office to buy stamps. I remember when I had to go into the closet to talk to my best friend because the phone was attached to the WALL! I have a file of old papers, and I kept a telegram containing the good news of the birth of my brother. I want my children to see what a telegram looks like. I remember living in Africa (and other assorted foreign countries) for over a year, without a computer to contact mom because they HADN’T BEEN INVENTED YET! (Computers, not moms.) I remember walking through my college campus in the ‘70s and reading a handwritten letter from a dear friend, imparting the news that she had had her first child…weeks after the baby was born! No one had texted me from the delivery room because no one had a cell phone. I mean really, no one.
Jesus Himself was the way that God imparted good news to us. He worked miracles and healed, was kind to the shunned and eased suffering in sometimes spectacular ways. Jesus attracted a lot of attention. I believe we humans usually like to attract attention to ourselves or at least to be noticed. (Unless it’s for doing something really embarrassing like slipping and falling spectacularly in front of everyone in your high school who was waiting for the busses after school -- that happened to me.) Jesus, however, attracted attention for the good things that He did. Yet, He consistently deflected attention from Himself to God.
He made it clear that His purpose was to work for God’s honor:
“Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.”
May our Lent disciplines, though a sacrifice, help us to see the ways in which we can bring honor to our God, who sends us into the world with good news.