Here are my thoughts for the “Back Page” for this coming Sunday, 22 March 2020, the 4th Sunday in Lent (Year A). As will others, Fishkill UMC will be broadcast services on Facebook on Sunday starting at 10:15. Find the church on Facebook and be a part of the services.
One thing is for sure, our view of the world has changed in the past couple of days.
We are finding that there is more to the world than what we actually see, both in terms of who is in the world and what goes on in the world.
Many of us want to live in a box that the world cannot penetrate. We wanted to be in the world but not part of it. We know that there is dangerous stuff in the world but if we don’t know about it, it really isn’t there. (We know there is stuff under our beds but we don’t even want to look to see what it is.)
Our view of the world has been disturbed and we want to know why. Who do we turn to for the answers to these questions?
We have always seemed to live in a society where we picked our leaders because of their perceived power and prestige. We expected that power and prestige lead to wisdom. This was the trait that the Israelites wanted for their kings; because it would be their kings that brought fame and glory to the country. But when God told Samuel to find a replacement for Saul as king of Israel, God lead him to David, who as his father characterized him was the runt of the family, and not one of his older, more powerful brothers.
Leadership is as much a mental quality as it is a physical quality. And when we think about it, thinking about solutions is just as important as the physical act of solving the problem.
In one sense, that was the problem with the community authorities in the Gospel reading today. Their positions in the community were based on the old view of power and prestige; Jesus’s solution contradicted what they were telling the people.
Time and time again, the solutions that Jesus offered provided comfort for the people and went against the perceived concept that leadership was based on power and prestige. Leadership is perhaps more about caring for the people, not just leading them.
Paul told the Ephesians to climb out of the box and see the world as Jesus saw the world. As we look at the world today, even with all of its changes, this will give us the vision that we need today.