I sometimes wonder what the Pharisees in this passage were thinking. Did they take delight in telling Jesus that Herod was after him? Were they looking after his safety out of concern for him, or did they just want to avoid further conflict?

Jesus’ response is clear and determined. He calls Herod a predatory fox, and then he recommits to his work. Faced with threats and danger, Jesus persists in pursuing the best interests of the people of Jerusalem.

Sometimes, especially when things get intense and threaten institutions or communities we value, we are tempted to ignore the needs of actual people; we may even expect them to ignore their own wounds. Or worse, we inflict new injuries on others—frequently, those with the least power—as we attempt to save or protect something we deem more important. In contrast, Jesus delays his exit from Jerusalem so he can heal more people and cast out more demons.

I find Jesus’ actions to be a convicting and sobering call to pay attention to one another. I want to remind you (and myself) that Christ’s church existed long before most of the traditions we treasure now. I know that you and I know, in some deep way, that church is bigger than anything we can decide or control. As we grieve the loss of structures and traditions we treasure, as we prepare for shifts beyond what we can fully imagine, I pray that we will have the same sort of compassion and commitment that Jesus had: to tend the hurting and resist what is evil. We should be striving to offer God’s grace and compassion to those who have already been pushed to the edges of our community.

Compassionate Christ, help me be a channel for your healing, tending, life-giving work. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 13:31-35

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Lectionary Week
March 7–13, 2022
Scripture Overview

This week’s readings give witness to God’s ways and provide confidence and hope in our faith. In Genesis we read of God’s promise to Abram, a promise that seems very unlikely to a man with no children. But God seals the covenant, and the story later shows that God never breaks God’s promises. The psalmist, even while mired in conflict, praises God for being his light, his salvation, his stronghold. The psalmist longs to be in God’s presence forever, a desire that can inspire all of us as believers. Paul says that in the future reality, we will no longer experience resistance from those who oppose God. One day Christ will fully transform us to our citizenship in heaven. Jesus himself experienced resistance even in Jerusalem, yet he ultimately triumphed, as will all those who trust in God.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18. How can you take a step forward in the dark toward God’s seemingly impossible promises for the future?
Read Psalm 27. Recall a time when you waited in the shadows of your life. What did you learn about God’s provision during this time?
Read Philippians 3:17–4:1. How do you live in the paradox of standing firm in faith by being vulnerable?
Read Luke 13:31-35. When have you been unwilling to accept love? How can you comprehend the depth and yearning of God’s love for you?

Respond by posting a prayer.

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