Thought for the Day: Maybe it is just me, but I come across a lot of passages that leave me wondering WHY? After Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday), this feels very anticlimactic. Jesus went to the temple, looked around, noticed it was getting late and decided to go onto Bethany. Why did Mark include this? Now a few days later, Jesus returned to Jerusalem and confronted the hypocrisy of the temple. That was a big event. In fact, it was probably the turning point for the Roman government and their reason for executing Jesus. Rome historically was willing to give other religious movements a fair amount of freedom, assuming their practices did not cause any sort of upheaval or controversy. Jesus had pushed the envelope a bit, but that act would cross a boundary. Yet let’s return to Mark 11:11 and the rather unimpressive follow-up to the triumphant entry into Jerusalem. It makes me think about all the times in my own life when I have felt like things were moving in the right direction and nothing could slow me down. And then I turn the corner, and there is nothing – like hitting an emotional wall. How do we react to those moments? Are they so devastating that we are unable to shake it off and find another way forward? For many, that’s the case. I like how Jesus goes to Bethany and hangs out there for a short time. It’s almost as if he needs a day or two for the purpose of resting and regrouping. Was Jesus needing to collect himself after a disappointment? I can’t say for sure, but there is something nice in thinking of Jesus being a little disillusioned when his forward movement was interrupted.
Prayer: I know this life will have many disappointments, Merciful God, yet I know you are with me in both the high points and the lows. When discouragement comes my way, provide me some space to collect my thoughts and draw upon your Spirit’s energy. Amen.
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Rev. Bruce Frogge