Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Lectionary: 248

Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me."So they tried to arrest him...

As Jesus' faces his opponents, as he sees their growing strength and senses the purpose which must finally ripen, mature and flourish in his arrest, trial, torment and death, he remembers who he is and to whom he belongs. "I am from him and he sent me."

As Oswald Chambers said,
“...when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”
It is sad to see many Americans sponsor an ever-growing military, armed to the teeth with guns of every description, locked behind gates, doors and walls. These frightened men and women claim to be Christians even as they sing of the land of the free and home of the brave.  
They forget that security and freedom are natural opposites. They meet only when the Christian abandons security and commits to the service of a greater good than self. The faithful walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil, for they believe that God is at their side with a rod (of discipline) and a staff (of guidance) to comfort them. 
As he faces his opponents in today's Gospel Jesus might be reciting the Eighteenth Psalm:
I love you, LORD, my strength,
LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer,
My God, my rock of refuge,
my shield, my saving horn, my stronghold!
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim!
I have been delivered from my enemies.
We are deep into Lent now, and must soon enter the vortex of Holy Week with its all-consuming Good Friday. I think of the prayer which closes of T.S. Eliot's Ash Wednesday: 
Blessed sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit of the garden, / Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood / Teach us to care and not to care / Teach us to sit still / Even among these rocks, / Our peace in His will / And even among these rocks / Sister, mother / And spirit of the river, / spirit of the sea, / Suffer me not to be separated / And let my cry come unto Thee. 

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.