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Sermon for the 4th Sunday of Lent  2019

March 31, 2019

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Sermon for Second Sunday in Lent 2019

March 17, 2019

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18        Psalms 27            Philippians 3:17-4:1                        Luke 13:31-35


     The readings for the second Sunday in Lent stress promise and expectation.  The account of the covenant with Abraham presents God’s promise of a child to the childless couple, and Abraham responds with faithful trust in the God who makes that promise.  The psalm is filled with assurance and confident trust in God.  The epistle calls attention to the cross and reminds the church that it awaits its savior.  The Gospel reading shares Jesus’ words to Herod which sparks the anticipation of the events lived out during Holy Week.   

     The Pharisees weren’t really interested in protecting Jesus from danger.  They were trying to trap him themselves.  They urged Jesus to leave because they wanted to stop him from going to Jerusalem, not because they feared Herod.  But Jesus’ life, work, and death were not determined by Herod or the Pharisees.  Jesus’ life was planned and directed by God, and Jesus’ mission would unfold in God’s time and according to God’s plan.

      These verses open with the Pharisees warning Jesus that Herod is seeking to kill him.  The remark is significant, because it shows that Jesus has caught the attention of the leadership. It also provides a way for the Pharisees to get rid of Jesus without doing anything that reflects badly on them.  The threat of Herod’s executing Jesus could eliminate the nuisance of Jesus’ call for repentance if he flees to save his life.  We may see their statements as an expression of concern.  But they have been consistently portrayed as doubting and challenging Jesus, so to have them now looking out for his welfare is totally out of character.        

     Why was Jesus focusing