3/15/19 The Second Sunday of Lent
O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Second Sunday in Lent BCP 218)
Anger. Strife. Violence. Mean comments. Polemic attitudes and polarized heated discussion. The season of Lent is a time of reflecting on our thoughts and behaviors and repenting of things done contrary to the will and practices of God. In our culture, it is hard to engage without ending up committing some kind of destructive behavior. In such a culture, it can be hard to feel like small kindnesses and generosities make any difference at all. We try to look at the big picture of what is happening and we feel like it is all going downhill... and fast.
However, the big picture is God's masterpiece. We cannot ever understand or see all that God is doing in this world. Even in the first century, things were not looking good for Jesus in his ministry. Every good thing he did was met with political reactionaries and hatred from upper level religious and political leaders. Thankfully, that didn't stop Jesus from taking the next steps in his journey. All the naysayers in the world couldn't stop Jesus from having compassion on the tax collectors, prostitutes, and adulterers. Jesus' business was to be faithful to God's mission, and that he does. Until the end.
As we struggle with figuring out our place in this world and in our own country, it is not our job to figure out the big picture or the end game. It is our job to be faithful to our call from God. It is our job to keep doing the next small act of kindness in front of us. It is our job to offer compassion and love to those in front of us. Even if it doesn't feel like its changing the world. God is at work and God is doing more than we can possibly imagine.
See you in church!