Journey to the Cross
It's a long, hard road that leads to becoming our true selves. There are so many things to distract us along the way, things that draw us towards self-absorption and destructive behavior.
The next few moments of reflection offer the opportunity to focus again, to see more clearly who God is and who we truly are meant to be.
Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
We have been conditioned by our society to crave the spectacular—the flashy, the dazzling, the larger-than-life, the celebrity. We’re shown that real women and men don’t make the covers of magazines, only their airbrushed and photoshopped counterparts do. We’re told it’s superheroes who stand up to powers and principalities, not everyday people like you and me. But Jesus wasn’t a celebrity, or at least he wasn’t a People magazine type of celebrity. Jesus wasn’t a superhero either.
Sometimes Jesus’ humanity is easy to lose sight of, especially when we start thinking about the miraculous birth, all the healing stories, and the mystery and power of the resurrection. But the Gospels remind us that Jesus wrestled mightily with the pull and the quest for power, and what could be more human than that?
So as you walk the path of Christ during Lent, consider what it means for your life of faith that you have been called to follow a Savior, and not a celebrity or a superhero.
Grier Booker Richards
Merciful God, forgive my quest for power and my desire to have it all. Turn me instead toward you, and stir my heart and my hands to action for your sake. Amen.
Go now with faith into your struggle.
Avoid distractions of the spectacular;
See beyond the illusions,
And recognize you have what you need
To move beyond guilt to freedom.
You have been claimed by grace
And are called to celebrate the life of joy.