What Did Jesus Say?

March 18, 2022

Genesis 37:3–4,12–28 | Matthew 21:33–43 | Psalm 105:16–22

Thank You, God, for the gift of Lent, a time for deep introspection. 

In these days of plague, insurrection, murder, and war, not to mention serious inequality, many Americans are furious to the point of violence. Instead of peaceful demonstrations, humans cause riots and deaths. When they chose not to wear masks and not to be vaccinated, some humans decided to risk spreading the deadly Covid virus and getting it themselves. 

We humans tend to jump to extremes first.  

Joseph’s brothers plan to kill him, the light of their father’s heart. They think of murder first, then they back down to only selling him. Joseph lived to become great, to do great good for many. 

In the twenty-first century, the barbaric action of killing seems extreme. Why do people jump to the worst action immediately? Hospitals are bombed. Murder rates go up. Many people die needlessly from the plague. 

It matters why humans jump to extremes, but whatever the reason, Jesus tells us what to do. 

Do not reject the person that is tossed away. Make that one the cornerstone. 

Love your enemy. Do good to those who persecute you. 

Instead of rushing into the Capitol, or rushing to murder, or to torture – poor Joseph – humans can think a while. They can pray, read the Bible, even the Lectionary.

Then we can try to come down on the side of compassion. Even Joseph’s murderous brothers decided to sell instead of kill. 

We must go with compassion and love to deal with a difficult situation. We must not act with malice.

We must do what Jesus said:

Produce the fruits of the kingdom. 

Giles Singleton