Thursday, February 26, 2009

Intention: The second day of Lent

This is Day 2 of this devotional journey to Easter. Please join me every day - DEREK

"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" (John 12:28)

One of the most remarkable truths about Christ's journey to the cross is the understanding that it was deliberate... volitional... a purposeful choice. Jesus knowingly stepped out, turned his face toward Jerusalem, and walked - one step at a time - toward the humiliation and the torturous death that he knew was waiting for him.

But why THEN? Why after only three years of active ministry? Weren't there still signs and wonders to be performed? Weren't there yet disciples to make? Didn't he have more towns to visit and additional wisdom to speak?

At the heart of it all, Christ's message is simple and it is pure. It is uncomplicated and direct. It is an elegant, uncompromising invitation to live. After three years Jesus had said his piece very clearly, and for two thousand years since his followers - that would be me, and you - have been complicating every word and nuance until it has, far too often, become just about unrecognizable!

I do not believe that there was any more for Christ to demonstrate, any more for the Master to say. The imperative, after the SAYING, is to GO OUT AND DO. And he demonstrated the doing part most profoundly. How? By traveling to Jerusalem to face his certain death... and ultimately his most powerful victory.

But, first, Jesus had to turn his face, he had to set his will, and he had to take the first step.

Our first step is our intention. Let's join Christ on the road that Robert Frost described as the one "Less often traveled by...." Let's then add commitment to our intention - and so be on our way.

PRAYER: Help us, dear Lord, to set our sights and our intentions clearly on Jerusalem. Accompany us on this journey. Feed our souls. Amen

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