The Fourth Sunday in Lent, March 10, 2013
Morning Psalms: 66, 67 | Evening Psalms: 19, 46
Jeremiah 14:1-9, 17-22 | Galatians 4:2-5:1 | Mark 8:11-21
Being a parent is an incredibly rewarding experience. Last night my family was watching Charlie Brown’s Christmas. When Charlie Brown asked what Christmas is about, my four-year-old informed him that Christmas is really about Jesus. I was so proud of him! I told him I was proud, but there is no way to express what moments like these mean to a parent.
Being a parent is an incredibly frustrating experience, particularly when our children don’t learn the lessons we teach them. How many times do parents warn their children they could fall if they jump on the furniture, only to have a child jump on the bed, fall, and get hurt. We pick them up and comfort them, but we are frustrated. If they had listened they wouldn’t be hurt. It is frustrating to see the ones we love suffer for not learning what we teach them.
Enter Jesus. First the Pharisees demand a sign. Do they really need more signs? Have they not already seen enough? Jesus is frustrated. Then, after realizing they hadn’t brought enough food, the disciples begin worrying about dinner. How could they worry about dinner? They are with Jesus. Hadn’t they just seen Jesus miraculously feed thousands? Twice? Jesus is frustrated.
Lent is a season for Christians to take a long, hard, honest look in the mirror. What we see are reasons for both pride and frustration. St. Paul reminds us that we look into the mirror not as slaves but as beloved children! Today, as you look in the mirror, celebrate those things that make your Father proud and confess those things that make your Father frustrated. Jesus was frustrated with both the Pharisees and the disciples, but He loved them more. That’s why He died for them. That’s why He died for you too!
Abba! Father, who sent Your Son to be born of a woman to redeem us, and who sends Your Holy Spirit into our hearts that we might be adopted as Your children, grant to us eyes that will see Your example, ears that will hear Your voice, and hearts that will learn Your way, that in all things we may be children with whom You are very pleased, though Jesus Christ our brother and our Lord. Amen.
The Rev. E.E. Frey (DMin Student)
Pastor, Toronto Church of the Nazarene
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