March 13, 2022
Second Sunday of Lent
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings are about types of citizenship, that condition of knowing we are fully and irrevocably home.
In Genesis, Abraham is given a land for himself and his descendants as a sign of God’s abiding Presence.
“I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the ChaldeansGenesis 15:5
to give you this land as a possession.”
In Philippians, Paul tells us that, truly, “our citizenship is in heaven”.
But our citizenship is in heaven,Philippians 3:20
and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Luke, the transfigured Jesus shows us what that heavenly reality will be like. It is a kind of glorious belonging that Peter wants to hold on to … to capture in a tent.
Jesus took Peter, John, and JamesLuke 9:28
and went up the mountain to pray.
While he was praying his face changed in appearance
and his clothing became dazzling white.
But the Creator makes it clear this dwelling and citizenship exists only in the heart of Christ where we are called to listen and live our lives.
While Peter was still speaking,Luke 9:34-35
a cloud came and cast a shadow over them,
and they became frightened when they entered the cloud.
Then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
These readings confirm that, in God, we are a people not bound by borders, ethnicities, religious cult, or any other human categorization.
Every human being belongs to God and is called to live in the fullness of that Creation. This is our shared Divine citizenship demanding a reverent mutuality for one another’s lives.
Think about that in contrast to the incomprehensible outrage of Putin’s unprovoked war against the Ukrainian people. Think about it relative to the many armed conflicts in Africa, Asia and Latin and South America.
Think of our Oneness in God compared to talk of border walls, ethnic and religious bans, white supremacy, anti-semitism, islamophobia and all the other manufactured ways we try to isolate people from this Divine citizenship which makes us brothers and sisters in God.
On this Sunday when our readings remind us of where and to whom each of our hearts belongs, let us pray for our world – for those suffering from war and isolation, and for the unfortunate lost souls executing that suffering. In differing ways, each of them, and we, need continuing redemption.
Poetry: The Man He Killed – Thomas Hardy
Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!
But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
And killed him in his place.
I shot him dead because –
Because he was my for,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
That’s clear enough; although
He thought he’d ‘list, perhaps,
Off-hand like – just as I –
Was out of work — had sold his traps —
No other reason why.
Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You’d treat if met where any bar is,
Or help to half-a-crown.
Music: The Sins of War – Timothy Shortell