Friday, June 30, 2017

Lawless Times

Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me.” He said to them, “When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “No, not a thing.” He said to them, “But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was counted among the lawless’; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled.” They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” He replied, “It is enough.” Luke 22:31-38

I have been traveling for the past few days and have been not able to even sit down to my computer to write. I have been reflecting on these times, as I hear and read news stories while waiting for another meeting or flight. These seem like dangerous times, when people are out for themselves and fear and lawlessness seems on the rise. People seem free to vent at others while our leaders would refuse health care for the least among us, while edging closer to international conflict. I  remember the fear when I was a child as we practice drills at school, ducking under a desk or against the fence on the playground. It was the cold war and everyone was taking precautions.

In our Gospel today hear Jesus preparing his disciples for the worst. The Savior who had instructed his friends to turn the other cheek and forgive seventy times seven, was now seeming to change his tune. In reality, he knew their need, their humanity, and urged them to take those things which might be needed for the darkest times. The tools were visceral help for these very human, anxious people. Our God invites us to understand the times in which we dwell. We need to have the tools to face the worst, praying constantly for peace and resolution.

Today, I ask God to help me be a peacemaker, even when fear rises up. May we all be prepared for what is ahead, but look to the Creator in every moment for sustaining hope when life seems too scary and treacherous.

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