Lent 2009 – 11 Steps to the Cross

PeterSteps

A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly. (Proverbs 14:29)

Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a disagreement that they parted company. (Acts 15:37-39)

In your anger do not sin; Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry and do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:26-27)

Walking alongside Peter all these days sometimes makes you wonder what Jesus saw in him. Actually, it makes you realize what Jesus saw in you. Despite the face you put on in front of the world, we’re all deeply flawed individuals who can in no way claim perfection. We watch Peter and say, I would never do that…until we do. You see, we’re every bit the Peter that we don’t think we are. As I’ve reflected on my own worthiness to approach the cross this year, I’ve thought about moments of anger that have seized me and thought about why this hasn’t been lifted from me.

I think that part of the answer is to be found in the anger of Jesus. We should get angry at acts that diminish the personhood of other people. We should raise our voice against injustice. Our hackles should get up against mistreatment of other souls.

There should be anger within the Church.

We should get angry when Jesus is just a marketing tool. We should get angry when the church turns into the mall. We should should show righteous indignation toward those who should be shepherds but who only spend their time bragging (or tweeting for crying out loud! Seriously, who has the time for that stuff? And who spends their day living vicariously through the activities of other people? Write a book, draw a picture, compose a song, go find your wife or husband and tell them you love them. Play catch with the kids. Don’t tell me in less than 140 characters that you’re going to do it. Oooops! got off an a rant there.) Get angry with people who run stop signs.

On the other hand, when you son misjudges a turn and runs his truck into the back of yours, let it go. Pray for him to grow up to be God’s man. Pray for his fantastic personality to be used for the good of others.

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