The following is a reflection on Luke 13:31-35, the Gospel Lesson for the Second Sunday in Lent, Year C, according to the Revised Common Lectionary.
How often I had desired…and you were not willing.
That’s the whole story of God’s relationship with us, isn’t it? From the days in Eden, the days leading up to the flood, the days in the wilderness, the days of the prophets, and the days of Jesus of Nazareth.
Today. This day.
How often God desires one thing for us, and yet how often we are unwilling to accept it. Over and over again.
That is the very heart of sin. Recoiling from the desires of God. Failing obedience. Rejecting God, silently or not.
So often when we hear the word “sin” we think of something gross. Illegal. Something that other people do in dark corners of lawless sedition.
It’s easier to think of sin in that way, because we almost never think of ourselves in those terms. And, it’s so much more comforting to think of sin as what “those people” do.
But, sin is so much broader than that. Yes, sin happens in dark alleys and back rooms, but it also happens every time we walk away from God’s desires for us. When we shun even the loving protection and embrace of resting under the shadow of His wings.
The faithful walk – the Lenten walk – is to seek out the desires of God, and rest under the shadow of His wings.
Accept what God wants from us. Accept where God wants us to be. Accept what God wants us to do, and what God wants us to leave alone.
And, of course, accept the forgiveness so freely offers to us when we step off the path.