Though we sometimes doubt and often resist God’s desire to protect and save us, our God persists. In holy baptism, God’s people have been called and gathered into a God-initiated relationship that will endure. Lent provides the church with a time and a tradition in which to seek God’s face again. Lent provides another occasion to behold the God of our salvation in the face of the Blessed One who “comes in the name of the Lord.”
Readings and Psalm
- Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
The covenant with Abram and his descendants
- Psalm 27
In the day of trouble, God will give me shelter. (Ps. 27:5)
- Philippians 3:17–4:1
Our citizenship is in heaven from where we expect a Savior
- Luke 13:31-35
I have desired to gather Jerusalem as a hen gathers her brood
Purpose and Perseverance
This week’s gospel text from Luke presents another temptation for Jesus. The Pharisees approach Jesus with a warning about his safety, telling him to “get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you” (Luke 13:31). Not only do the Pharisees want Jesus to leave, but one can assume they also want Jesus to stop doing what he was doing: speaking against the Pharisees, teaching about God, and healing on the sabbath. We know the Pharisees are “very hostile” (Luke 11:53) toward Jesus, so we can conclude that their warning is not a genuine expression of concern but rather an attempt to stop his mission and ministry.
However, Jesus will not be distracted or turned away from his purpose, even if that includes moving toward his own death in Jerusalem. In Jesus’ ability to fulfill his purpose, even in the midst of opposition, we find inspiration as we seek to live our lives in concert with God’s purposes. As Christians, Jesus’ purpose is our purpose. The church, the body of Christ, doesn’t exist for itself. Rather, the church exists to be a partner with God in God’s mission to love, bless, and reconcile the world.