This month we move into Easter and look at Lent and  Jesus preaching God’s kingdom at hand, calling people to do something really simple about it: to love God, self and neighbour. Easter day looks at John and Luke’s account

March 6, Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

This speaks to me of our global ecological situation: Many of us are the prodigal son. Will we humble ourselves and offer to make reparations — or continue to live in increasing degradation? The Climate Summit in France late last year is part of that decision-making process.

Will our rich nations, especially the ones who claim to be Christian, lead us away from consumption and the protection of our wealth, and back to God and to just reconciliation with our older brothers? Will they do a Zacchaeus? What are each of us willing to give up to return to a proper relationship with God’s earth family?

March 13, John 12:1-8

Given everything else Jesus said about money and wealth, I’m really, really sure that this is a condemnation of judgementalism, not a defence of maintaining the status quo.

March 20, Palm Sunday, Luke 19:28-40

There’s no better way to give people a sense of this day than to have the kids, or half the Congregation, parade into your church while Eye of the Tiger is blasting out of the speakers. Here comes Jesus, the Messiah, to kick some Roman butt and expel the religious collaborators! At least so they thought. Google “palm Sunday political meaning” to see what I mean. Back in the day, waving palms was an “up yours” to the Roman occupiers.

Good Friday, John 18:1-19:42

It probably is Good Friday if you go with John’s reading, where everything seems very inevitable and predestined and even triumphal. But if you stick with Luke’s story, there’s more of a sense of sadness. Jesus came preaching God’s kingdom at hand, calling people to do something really simple about it: to love God, self and neighbour. To love even your enemies and do good to them, because God is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. But they didn’t. The leaders crucified their enemies, Jesus included. Nonetheless, Jesus asks for their forgiveness, and offers assurance to the criminal at his side. At Jesus’ death, the crowds are no longer jeering, they are sorrowful. Even the centurion acknowledges the Empire’s wrongdoing.

March 27, Easter day, John 20:1-18 or Luke 24:1-12

Which story will you go with on Easter day? Will you go with John? If so, we have Mary and the gardener who is, of course, Jesus (still in total control of the situation). Of course you will sing, “I come to the garden alone.” If you choose this reading, skip over 20:17 and its apparently non-Trinitarian theology, and finish resoundingly with 20:18.

Or will you stay with Luke? Then you can celebrate that the story didn’t end with breast beating and a belated recognition by the centurion. God gives people one more chance — starting with the women, and then those on the road to Emmaus, then all the disciples, and finally us the readers of the gospel — to “listen to him.”

Reflections for March have been prepared by Rev.Jason John


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