Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Road with Many Stories

Lent brings to mind the final journey of Jesus to Jerusalem.  According to the gospel of Luke and Christian tradition, Luke 9:51 is the starting point.  In that verse is a Word which reads, "When the days drew near for Him (Jesus) to be taken up, he set His face to go to Jerusalem."   A few lines later the Word underscores the single mindedness of Jesus by saying, "...his face was set toward Jerusalem."   While arguing with the obvious is not usually a good thing, a strong case can be made for declaring that the beginning point of this final journey to Jerusalem was not outside of a Samaritan village, but on Mt. Hermon and the moment of Transfiguration. 

It is as if on the Mount of Transfiguration Jesus heard this divine voice saying, "Go.  It is now time to go."   Both Matthew and Mark join with Luke in describing this holy mountaintop moment, and all speak of it as this moment of divine impetus which sets Jesus forth toward the cross.  Once Jesus moved away from that moment of transcendent glory, there were no side road excursions.  Once down Mt. Hermon, it was on with steadfast determination to Calvary.

The journey between starting point and ending point is one filled with the stories of encounters with folks who shared the road with him.  While all shared the road with Jesus, only a few walked with Him as He neared the end, and then, even those who had shared so much disappeared.  We know the names of some who travelled with Him, but there were also many who simply appear briefly to be gone as quickly as they appeared.  However, as is always the case, everyone has their story.  All those folks Jesus met on the road from Hermon to Calvary had a story and so do we.  For some it is the story of good intentions, for others the story of a changed life, and, of course, for some it is a story somewhere in between.  Reading the many stories of the many who encountered Jesus along the way can only cause us to realize we are living out our story with Jesus even now.   

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