Reflections

The Foot of the Cross

When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, “Why are you untying it?” just say this: “The Lord needs it.” ’ So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, ‘Why are you untying the colt?’ They said, ‘The Lord needs it.’ Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!’ Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, order your disciples to stop.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.’  Luke 19.28-40 

“Endurance” 26 March: Luke 21:1-19

Today’s Word: “You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls” (Luke 21.17-19).

We have already noted Luke’s repeated emphasis on the significance of being able to ‘see’ and Jesus’s powerful ministry of restoring sight to the blind.

“Questions” 25 March: Luke 20:27-47

Today’s Word: “Then some of the scribes answered, ‘Teacher, you have spoken well.’ For they no longer dared to ask him another question.” (Luke 20.39).

It will be clear by now that one feature of Jesus’s ministry is that he is a frequent target for some often strange sounding questions

“Stewards” 24 March: Luke 20:1-26

Today’s Word: “One day, as he was teaching the people in the temple and telling the good news, the chief priests and the scribes came with the elders and said to him, ‘Tell us, by what authority are you doing these things?’” (Luke 20.1-2).

In today’s readings, Luke highlights the continuing tension between Jesus and his adversaries, the scribes and chief priests.

“Spellbound” 23 March: Luke 19:29-48

Today’s Word: “Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, order your disciples to stop.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.’” (Luke 19.39-40).

There is much contemporary debate about the limits of public protest;

“Newness”

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord’, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.   Jeremiah 31.31-34

This morning we heard from Jeremiah: the forthright Prophet, who addresses the people of God in midst of their exile in a foreign land with a distinct message of hope.

“Sight” Saturday 20 March: Luke 18:18-43

Today’s Word: “He said, ‘Lord, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.’ Immediately he regained his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.” (Luke 18.41-43).

It’s often been observed that the Gospel writers never spare the disciples’ blushes.