5th Sunday in Lent
March 21, 2021
We continue our Lenten journey of healing and restoration. We have been listening to Matthew’s telling of Jesus’ healings. This week our story has a different approach to healing.
Matthew has been telling the stories in such a way that we hear Jesus telling the disciples what will be required of them after he leaves them. The time is getting close. Next week Jesus will enter Jerusalem on a donkey to the shouts of hosannah and palm fronds gracing his path. Jesus, by his example, has been showing the disciples how they are to heal and restore life to their followers.
Being a disciple of Christ is not easy- the demands are huge. Jesus showed his disciples and shows us what that can mean. Jesus makes it clear that at times we have to make extraordinary efforts to move in a new direction.
We have talked about physical healing, mental healing, healing of our souls, and this week we turn not so much to a healing but rather the acknowledgment and preparation for healing of creation. We can’t ignore the importance of healing the very planet that sustains us. We
continue to live in increasing chaos with the hoarding of resources, and an environment that is suffering more and more each year. We want to be restored by something or someone else. However, we are surprised to learn that we are in the boat with the One who shows us our ability to turn it around and calm the storm. We can keep from harming further the jewel that is our home. We can make something beautiful out of the brokenness and scars of the past. Even though this story does not have a healing, Matthew does tell something very important about the portrait of Jesus and his ministry of healing. Jesus is not just some charismatic healer, but is instead a divine agent and warrior of future deliverance. Jesus wields power over disability, disease, and creation itself.
Again the story reminds us that discipleship is costly. To follow Jesus, we need to “cross over” lands and seas. We have to let go of what we know in order to do a new thing. It might be difficult, anxiety producing, in fact terrifying. But it is our calling and we know the Holy Spirit which Jesus sent is traveling with us. We can move in new exciting directions.
We can’t go through life without incurring some brokenness that needs repair, healing, and restoration. The most important thing in this time is Environment Health. We must attend to the healing, renewal, and restoration of our natural resources. Environmental Health influences more than we can even imagine. If we only pay attention to healing our own health and that of our community and not restore health to the environment we will be caught in continued circles of destruction. Creation is interdependent and intertwined—all creation has to be healed.We have not always been good stewards of this amazing earth. How are we going to turn things around? How can we create something amazing and beautiful that will last for generations to come?
Young people like Greta Thunberg have ignited the fire for climate strikes which hopefully will lead to climate healing. In 2019 before the pandemic, 4 million students participated in climate strikes worldwide. Our young poet laureate Amanda Gorman can make words penetrate your very soul and offer hope and healing for body, mind, soul, and environment.
It’s our young people who have the energy to be active in support of environmental and racial justice. But we can get creative and find ways to support them and to make changes in our communities. Let us become part of the “positive tipping point,” as Greta Thunberg would say.
In the greatest of hope!