Luke 13:31-35 MSG
Just then some Pharisees came up and said, “Run for your life! Herod’s on the hunt. He’s out to kill you!” Jesus said, “Tell that fox that I’ve no time for him right now. Today and tomorrow I’m busy clearing out the demons and healing the sick; the third day I’m wrapping things up. Besides, it’s not proper for a prophet to come to a bad end outside Jerusalem. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killer of prophets, abuser of the messengers of God! How often I’ve longed to gather your children, gather your children like a hen, Her brood safe under her wings--but you refused and turned away! And now it’s too late: You won’t see me again until the day you say ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of God.’”
On a normal day in the office at First Presbyterian Church, there are many things that can distract. The phone rings. People stop in. The mail arrives. Our custodian and sexton come and do their work. Small groups come in and go out and various meetings take place. With each person at the church on a particular day comes the possibility for the day to be changed at a moment's notice.
I'm not saying I do not want folks coming by. On the contrary, I love it and I have learned that real ministry happens most during these unscripted moments. Still, during each of these moments the possibility increases for the staff or me to get off track.
Jesus also had many potential moments to get off course from God's plan for him. Sometimes, his ministry could potentially pull him off course. At other times it was fear causing anxiety in others. Or like today's Scripture, this Pharisees trying warn him.
Jesus is warned to get out of town because Herod wants to kill him. He doesn't seem nearly as worried about him as they were. Instead he reminds them of the plan from God. Jesus is on God's business-- he's busy clearing out demons, healing the sick and preparing for the wrap up (his cruxifion, death and resurrection.) In other words, Jesus tells these Pharisees that he has too much to do to worry about something that isn't going to happen right now. It's the wrong place and time for that to happen.
This text causes us to wonder how we need to also redirect folks and ourselves who are filled with worry and anxiety that can sabotage the end result or cause undo stress and fear. It happens all the time, except sometimes we call it procrastination and at others triangulation. Still, we are reminded by Jesus and others -- to keep focused on God's plan.
Prayer: Almighty God, help us to keep our focus on you. When the world seems to overwhelm us, recenter us and align us with your will. In the name of Jesus the Messiah we pray. Amen.
Rev. Laura C. Kelsey, Author
Rev. Kelsey is proud to pastor the First Presbyterian Church of Pontiac, MI. Together with the faithful and loving worshipping community at FPC. she enjoys sharing God's Word with others, working to help folks experience God's love and discern their direction in life, and lovingly reach out to the greater Pontiac community.