Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18; Luke 13:31-35
Lent. It is a time to be intentional, to really be contemplative, to look into the places of our soul where there is no answer, only silence. These texts if we look at them closely can take us there. Genesis is the renewing the promise through covenant, Abram will have descendants and a son will come.
There were some words I had never paid attention to before and they caught me in study this week. The text says that Abram was in a deep sleep and had a feeling of dread. Where else in the bible do we get descriptions like this, the Psalms. They talk about the writer going down to the Pit, to Sheol, being brought in dorect contact with death. Is it no wonder then for Abram to respond to God's promise as if it is never going to happen. I am near the end and God brings him quite literally near the end in order for something new to come out of this experience. In the night, on a hill, the flames come and consume everything offered which was cut in half and Abram goes back to his life.
We all come to these places in life. You know the ones where we fear death, fear the undoing of our lives and all we have worked for, or even the times when we have prayed how long, how much longer will bad things keep happening. Then something clicks and God is new, our faith is new, our perception of the world is new and something has shifted, changed in us forever.
This week we live again in the shadow of the cross. These well intentioned Pharisees come to Jesus, expecting to give warning so he may be more careful and instead he throws their warning aside to say he must die. It will happen on Jerusalem and God would like to love and gather them. Care for others, open arms and there is no answer.
This week we have received news that the situation in Lui South Sudan is dire, pray. As I mentioned this in class there were quick responses trying to figure out what to do, how can we fix, but we can't. Silence came. (Be silent)
Maybe we get a glimpse through this of how the Pharisees felt. Maybe it's hard for us not to have answers. Maybe it's hard for us to face death. Stare it down and see it coming in the faces of friends we have come to know. In the fabric of just giving this up to God in prayer. Letting go and being present under the cross. (Be silent)
Maybe this is a point we can intentionally sit with this lent. Out lostness, our inability to fix everything, remembering those who have died, remembering we are truly dust and to dust we return and we have no power over that ourselves. Sit.