This week I’ve been particularly drawn to the last sentence in our Gospel: “… he passed through the midst of them and went on his way”. How often have you wanted to just keep walking – through the crowd and the noise, through the debates and the discussion, through the anxiety and the confusion, through the posturing and the pontificating? “… he passed through the midst of them and went on his way”.
In a week when we’ve remembered the Holocaust, pledging “never again”, yet knowing that hate crimes are on the rise, and seeing our culture edging closer and closer to the kind of indifference and weariness that allows such intolerance to arise in our midst, I want to retreat.
I want to retreat – not to escape the noise and confusion, but to get my head straight.
I want to retreat – not to ignore all that is going on, but to take it all in.
I want to retreat – not to shirk what God is asking of me, but to discern it anew.
I want to retreat – not to conserve my energy, but to gather my courage to jump back in.
I don’t believe Jesus passed through the midst of them and went on his way to escape what they might do to him. I believe he kept on walking because he had work to do. … seeing how his own kith and kin reacted, Jesus needed to take time to reset, to get his head straight, to gather his courage, so that he could get back … to demonstrating the costly nature of living out God’s radical message of love and inclusion.
Do not underestimate the power of taking time out to recalibrate.
Do not underestimate the difference you can make.
Do not underestimate the power of love that “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”. (1 Corinthians 13)
For the love of God.