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Monday, March 30, 2015

Meditation Moments in Lent: The Lazarus Plot, Monday in Holy Week, March 30, 2105

So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus...The Pharisees then said to one another, "You see, you can do nothing. Look the world has gone after him." [John 12:10-11,19] 

          Just yesterday this Jesus rides into the city on a donkey while across town Roman Governor Pilate leaves his seaside resort to parade into town on his grand horse with all the pomp, circumstance, and glitter of the Imperial Roman Authority. Pilate's presence, and that of his troops, is meant to quell any type of rebellious activity during the festival of Passover. 
          Then there are the Sanhedrin and Pharisees, in the middle between this heretical, itinerant Jew preaching and mesmerizing the crowds, and the threatening reminder of a power only granted to them as long as Rome finds it convenient. And this Jesus raises a dead man back to life from his tomb! The path is clear, kill Jesus and the raised man, Lazarus. Isn't that what those who feel threatened do - kill the opposition in order to keep life pure? Or at least so that we can continue being the authority, even if only by grant of a few holding power over us.
          Of course they were extra brutal in those days. Today we'd keep those people from being able to shop, dine out, or receive services because they walk through life on what we have decided is the wrong path. And if a few get hurt or killed along the way, well, that will show them who is really in charge. It always turns out well when a few decide how the many ought to believe, behave, and be ruled.

Holy Jesus, Son of God,
           It sometimes seems difficult to know which path is Yours with so many authorities claiming to have the TRUTH. How is it that there are so many people reading the same words and coming to different conclusions about what You were telling us? The truth will set us free if only we can find it.  Help us, Lord, find the truth You have given us in the Greatest Commandment: The first commandment is this: ...The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. [Mark 12:29-31]  Perhaps if we live and love that way, we won't have to shut out or kill the opposition, we can learn to live together as the neighbors You intended us to be.   amen.

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