Tag Archives: Lent

Matthew 17

17 Feb

Matthew 17:22 When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. 23They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.

Sometimes it feels confusing to be a follower of Jesus. Life can be full of disappointments and questions. Apparently this isn’t a 21st century thing but a 1st century thing as well. Jesus announces that he is going to be betrayed (later we would find it is one of them) and will be executed. Of course this is bad new and there should be grief accompanied by sadness. But Jesus also announced that he would be raised back to life. Shouldn’t that grief also hold hands with joy/hope?

Apparently not. The grid for the understanding of the Jewish Messiah/Christ was one of power and victory. The Messiah/Christ would come and destroy God’s enemies which just happened to be Israel’s enemies and set up an eternal kingdom of shalom. Death wasn’t really an option. A dead Messiah was a failed Messiah. Because the Messiah would be defined by victory over the enemy. This is the world view of the first followers of Jesus.

So while Jesus mentions resurrection all they can hear is death.

Paul says that God works all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). Not that all things that happen are good but all things God can use for good.

There are a lot of terrible moments in life and unbearable things that I’ve heard others go through that it is almost unimaginable how God could use this for good.

It is often difficult to hear words of resurrection in moments that feel like crucifixion.

Lent, the season that begins tonight with Ash Wednesday, is a time that the church dwells on this. That Jesus entered time and history and felt pain, sorrow and anguish that we all feel and comes through the other side through the resurrection. Lent is called the Bright Sadness because it is a time that we remember the sufferings of Jesus but we always frame them within the context of the resurrection.

Lent is a time of acknowledging that we experience Friday moments in life (the crucifixion) but we know that Sunday is coming (the resurrection).



17 Feb

“After being baptized by John in the River Jordan, Jesus went off alone into the wilderness where he spent forty days asking himself the question of what it meant to be Jesus. During Lent, Christians are supposed to ask one way or another what it means to be themselves…to answer questions like this is to begin to hear something not only of who you are but of both what you are becoming and what you are failing to become. It can be pretty depressing business all in all, but if sackcloth and ashes are at the start of it, something like Easter may be at the end.”
-Frederick Buechner

“Lent is the time for trimming the soul and scrapping the sludge off a life turned slipshod. Lent is about taking stock of time, even religious time. Lent is about exercising the control that enables us to say no to ourselves so that when life turns hard of its own accord we have the stamina to yes to its twists and turns with faith and hope…. Lent is the time to make new efforts to be what we say we want to be.”
-Joan Chittister