In Like A Lion . . .
I'm about the Lenten Journey that falls during these ides of the changing season. I'm talking about Jesus's journey into Jerusalem, the one we'll hear about this first Sunday in March, Lent III, when he enters the courtyard outside the temple, yells at all the merchants and money changers, and topples over their booths (John 2:13-16).
I imagine the lion’s roar of his voice as he chases out those who have come to profit themselves instead of worshipping God (or, in my mind, the roar of Ted Neeley singing in Jesus Christ Superstar, “MyyyyYYYYYY temple should be a house of prayer! But you have made it a den of thieves!” )
Was Jesus a lion? Did he get angry, even ferocious at the people who put their own interests before God's? Did he condemn those who did evil, dark deeds? Did he growl at his own disciples and struggle to get them to understand the meaning of the sacrifice he intended to make?
And then, didn't he die on the cross for them all?
What about in our lives? Do we hear the roar of Jesus today, demanding justice, turning the tables on the politicians and amplifying the voices of the poor, the oppressed, and the children? Do we sense Him in the dark moments of tragedy—still, watching, waiting to pounce with strength and ferocity against the sources of evil? Are we able to make room for both the table-turning Jesus, and the one who quietly comes along side us, offering unconditional love in exchange for our burdens?
Jesus comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb – meek, innocent and sacrificial. Jesus goes to the cross humbly, like a lamb, but with the strength of a King. And with each step, each growl and each silence, He is showing his unmistakable, unconditional love.
I hope that these questions, and perhaps our Lenten devotional “Practicing Love,” will help us all experience a greater sense of Christ's presence in our lives this Season. Copies of the daily Lenten devotional are still available – contact the church office if you want one mailed to you.