Wednesday, March 27, 2013

To the End

I always get stuck on the sermons for the big church holy days. Holy Thursday is no exception. This year I wrote the starts to three separate sermons before finally settling into the groove and finishing my sermon for tomorrow. But, even though this one didn't make the cut for worship tomorrow night, something about it intrigues me. So, here you have it: A meditation I'm not preaching tomorrow.

John 13:1: “Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. She’d married a strong, smart, capable man. And they’d enjoyed decades of marriage, they’d raised a family, and life had been, not perfect, but beautiful. But then the Alzheimer’s took over. His memory faded, his personality shifted, some days he didn’t even seem like the same man. But still she cared for him. She prepared his meals, she helped him dress, she even bathed him. He had forgotten, but she hadn’t. And she loved him to the end.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Jesus had chosen good, faithful, courageous disciples. He’d taught them and allowed them to witness his healings, his miracles, even his raising of Lazarus. They’d fished together and walked miles side-by-side. But they still didn’t understand. They grew scared when the storm came, they misinterpreted his teachings, some days he couldn’t believe that these were his disciples. But still he cared for them. He prayed for them, welcomed them to his Passover feast, he even washed their feet. They misunderstood, but he didn’t. And he loved them to the end.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. God created the world and everything in it good. God made humans in the divine image, shaped a perfect natural world, and shared a perfect relationship with creation. But we chose to sin, to walk away. We harmed one another, we damaged God’s perfect creation, we broke God’s heart, some days we didn’t even seem like the same people. But still God cared for us. God let us out of slavery, sent the prophets to lead us, reached out again and again. God even came down to live with us so that we might understand, to die our death, that we might live God’s life. We sinned, but God remained steadfast. And God loves us to the end.

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