“Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Lent is not often pictured as a race, but these words from Hebrews fit well with some of the ways we talk about the season. Lent is the season to look to Jesus once again, to refocus on him and the cross that he took up. It is the season of repentance, or in other words, a time to get back on track and turn again to the ways of discipleship. So as we “run with perseverance the race that is set before us” on this Lenten track, this bulletin back series will encourage us to take many “turns” along the way to be closer to the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
The last time Jesus came near Jerusalem, a group of Pharisees headed him off and warned him Herod was going to kill him if he proceeded. With that warning still in mind, Jesus courageously entered Jerusalem, knowing that pain was in his future. While Jesus rode into the city on a colt, making the words of the prophet Zechariah come to life (Zech. 9:9), his disciples used more Scripture (Ps. 118:26) to shout their praises. They came alongside Jesus and began to praise him for all the deeds they had witnessed—healings, teachings, feedings, resuscitations, and more. Eventually, this caused others to turn up and do the same; even the rocks would turn up to praise him. No one in the crowd knew that in a few days, those praises would be silent. Certainly, no one in the crowd knew that three days later they would have reason to shout their praises louder than ever before.
How can we take this turn?
What have we seen from Jesus that makes us turn up to praise him? When in difficult circumstances, who turns up to support us? What ministries, causes, and/or people are we being called to turn up for now? What realizations about ourselves have turned up so far this Lent?
May the one who comes in the name of the Lord continue to bless us in all the turns we take!
Dan Miller, pastor, Edgeboro Moravian Church, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania