“You always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me.” Those words are for you and me. Do we know how to live up to them?
Palm Sunday remembers Jesus riding into Jerusalem to the praise of his followers. But the crowd was left wondering, “Who is this?” The crowd around us continues to ask the same question.
This was the first sermon I’ve ever preached to an empty room. I preached my first sermon during our “Shelter in Place” order in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. We’ve reluctantly withdrawn to our homes and withheld ourselves from our dearest friends.
A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine found himself in a major airport. He coughed and witnessed a woman cover her mouth and nose and slink away. We live in days when you can be judged by your cough. Too loud, too forceful, too uncovered and you’ll be viewed with suspicion.
There are few verses more well-known or more often cited than Luke 6:37’s, “Judge not, and you will not be judged.” More often than not, it’s invoked in defense. “You have no right to judge me! The Bible says, ‘Judge Not!'” Yet, we make judgments every day. Everything from coughs to character is subject to judgment.
The cry of the rooster at Peter’s denial of Jesus is a siren ringing reminder of the sound of all our failure. But failure isn’t the end.
“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain.” Hebrews 6:19