getting out the Word

the 5th sunday in lent

the PRAYER …

O God, with steadfast love you draw us to yourself, and in mercy you receive our prayers. Strengthen us to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, that through life and death we may live in your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING …

[Jesus said:] “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

John 12:20-33

the DEVOTION …

“Surely, he doesn’t mean that!” Jesus says something that shocks us! Something that rubs us the wrong way. And that’s our response, “Surely, he doesn’t mean that!” Give to everyone who begs from you! “Surely, he doesn’t mean that!” Do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you! “Surely, he doesn’t mean that!” Sell your possessions and give it to the poor! “Surely, he doesn’t mean that!” We distract. Deflect. Diffuse. And what we don’t like, we, simply, write off and we move on.

We do the same thing with verses like this. “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” The point is obvious. Jesus will draw everyone to himself! It’s not, just, indicating how he’ll die. Jesus is talking about people. About all people! And he’s talking about his love for them! For each and every! For one and all! And we’re shocked by it! It rubs us the wrong way. Surely, Jesus doesn’t mean that! Where’s the limit! The exception! For that matter, where’s the fire and brimstone? It’s not right! It’s not fair!

Jesus hears our questions and asks a few of his own. Where’s the sun – god’s sun – shining on the evil and the good? Where’s the rain falling on the unrighteous, as well as the righteous? Where’s the new testament in my blood shed for you and for all? Or am I not allowed to love whom I choose? If a few, why not some? If some, why not many? If many, why not most? And if most … If most, then why not all?

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