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Giving up

March 13, 2013
By Pastor Roger Lemke - Special to The Eagle , Pine Island Eagle

We always think of "giving up" something for Lent. Some people give up meat; others give up sweets, or movies. Of course if you want a real Lenten challenge try giving up your cell phone for forty days.

Entering church on Ash Wednesday, busybody Bonnie was asking everyone: "What are you giving up for Lent?" Then she continued: "Nora is giving up drinking, Terri is giving up chocolate. The visiting Michiganites are giving up Muskrat." And I interrupted and said: "I'm just giving up."

"Just give up" was the Pharisee's advice to Jesus. Herod is after you. He has marked you for death. Get out of town quick. Give up your mission here" (Lk. 13:31-35).

However Jesus surprises those Pharisees by both disregarding and embracing their message. Jesus dismisses the threat of Herod with a flip and a quip. Herod is nothing but a "fox," Jesus quips, forever plotting but powerless against God's mission in the world. Jesus has His own schedule, His own agenda, His own mission to fulfill, and the time-frame has already been divinely determined.

But Jesus also asserts that He WILL give up, He WILL give Himself up, He WILL travel to Jerusalem and meet head on the traumatic tradition of that city encapsulated in His phrase : "Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it" (Lk. 13:34). Jesus will give up everything, His very life, in order to fulfill His eternal mission of salvation.

Clearly Jesus "will give it all up in order that 'you' might get it all!"



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