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- February 21, 2016 -

Utterly Free

For Sunday, February 21, 2016 – Luke 13:31-35

Jesus embodies for us what it looks like and sounds like—what it IS—to live in a state of complete trust in God, letting the Spirit of God live in us and with us and through us, making us utterly free. No longer bound up by fear, not overwhelmed by worry, never again ransacked by resentment, but able to face with courage whatever comes, greeting the dilemmas of the day without withdrawal or aggression.

Some of the Pharisees who have grown to like and respect Jesus come to warn him of Herod’s growing evil intentions. “Get away from here,” they say. “He wants to kill you.” Where, I wonder, do they expect him to go? Is there a hiding place from the human condition or the crises of the day? Jesus adds no energy to their drama. He does not organize a crisis management team to map out possible escapes. He just stands where he stands and is who he is.

“Go and tell that fox that I am doing what I am doing,” he says, “and on the third day I will complete my work.” What if we, too, learned just to stand still in the face of opposition, remember what is ours to do, and keep doing it? When those sly forces that try to plot our defeat come, voices of fear and insufficiency and suspicion, we can respond, “I hear you, but I know who I am … and I must be on my way.”

And what is the way? It certainly is no escape route, no fast track out of Jerusalem, that ancient icon of hope and pain. It is a narrow path, a lowly path, right into the deepest, darkest heart of the human dilemma—our desire for God alongside our consuming hunger for things that will never satisfy, our fear and bluster, our imprisoned souls. Like a mother hen, how God longs to gather us in under her wings. If only we were willing, or at least willing to be willing, we might begin to learn the Jesus way, a more humble way, a way to be utterly free.

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