The Revised Common Lectionary passages for the Lord’s Day are:

First Reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 51:1-12
Second Reading: Hebrews 5:5-10
Gospel Reading: John 12:20-33

The liturgical color for the day is: Purple

“Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”  It is more than seeing.  It is a listening and a deep seeing of Jesus that they will all witness.  It is beyond that moment—it is the cross.  And in that cross, there is this healing.

The cross is the place where those Greeks will see Jesus.  It is the place where John’s people and where we will see Jesus too.  But we and they are to see it in such a way that we see more than the tragic, public execution of an innocent man.  We are to see it on a different level.  We are to hear in the cross an echo of the God of Creation who is in the fleshly existence of Christ healing the world.

The cross is an interruption to the incessant drumbeat of the world.  The cross becomes that place where all those “it’s just the way it is” falls apart.  The “it’s just the way it is” that the rich get richer, and poor get poorer—that comes apart at the cross.  The injustice of the world where those who have need are ignored to the benefit of the ones who have more than enough—that is interrupted at the cross.  The place where evil triumphs, or there is no hope—that is interrupted at the cross.

God interrupts that and judges it.  It is the drumbeat of the world, but it is not the reality of God.  There is an alternative reality that we are called to.  It is the reality where those who are powerless and have nothing but belief—they are the very ones who are far wealthier than the rich.

The cross is an interruption to the drumbeat of this world—there is an alternative sound—it is the sound of justice.  There is an alternative sound—it is the sound of connection.  There is an alternative sound—it is the sound of love.

Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena
General Presbyter and Stated Clerk

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