Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Lent THREE, FOUR and FIVE: we heard the won¬derful stories: living water promised to the Samaritan woman; physical and spiritual sight given to the man born blind; life given to Lazarus. No wonder today that we hear the people shout “Hosanna!” For us, a heartbreaking knowledge underlays the shouts because in today’s liturgy, only moments after hearing about the hosannas, we hear Matthews’s version of the passion and death of the Lord.

It would be so easy to have an attitude about “those fickle people.” I found myself wondering how and about what I am “fickle.” Well, if I look at Merriam-Webster’s definition, I read “lack of steadfastness, constancy, or stability: given to erratic changeableness.” I know I qualify least partially. The fear is that if I am fickle in little things, then what about big things. (Sounds almost biblical, doesn’t it?)

We stand one week away from celebrating the gift of life that came through death. Without doubt, Jesus was never fickle about his commitment and that steadfastness is why we can rejoice today.

The scary part – at least for me – is that sometimes it just seems so easy to take Jesus for granted. It’s so easy just to presume he is there at our beck and call. Fortunately, I am surrounded by people who don’t seem to do that and it encourages me in my own desire to be a little more steadfast in seeking the face of Jesus, and then being open to showing his face however he seems to wish me to do it. But I’ve got to ask him, over and over, “Show me.” I ask not because he isn’t showing me, but because I skate along the edge of “fickle,” of inconsequential preoccupations.

If you need more encouragement you don’t have to go any farther than the two wonderful scriptures we heard this weekend that were sandwiched between our two Matthew gospels.

Isaiah 50:
The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is no less powerful:
Christ Jesus... emptied himself,
...coming in human likeness;
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to ... death on a cross.
Because of this...every knee should bend,
...and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Our eyes fixed on the Lord through the eyes of faithful witness grabs our attention and dismisses “fickle” as an option. You don’t get better witnesses that Isaiah and Paul.

Today you received a cross of palm. (Google AFRICAN PALMS USA for the wonderful story about our ‘already made’ palms.)

Our family always put our palm behind the crucifix in the dining room. Wherever you put your palm, what will you let it symbolize for you? Will you put it in a place where you see it a lot? Mine goes behind my crucifix at the foot of my bed. I try to let the crucifix and the palm remind me to say thanks for the day I just had, and thanks in advance for the day I’m going to get tomorrow. If I don’t see the next day, I’ll be before the Lord hoping that I don’t have an awful lot of explaining to do. That’s what His Cross meant.

We heard some great stories this Lent about some faithful people. Now go and write your own.
In Jesus,
sign frjim

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