Lenten Reflections Week 2

Wednesday 24th February 2021
Luke 11:29-32 
29 When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. 30 For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be to this generation. 31 The queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here! 32 The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here!
Would this be said about our generation? What would Jesus warn this generation of, when/if we demand that he show us a sign of his authenticity? 
In Jesus’ time, it was customary for the Jewish authorities to demand “signs” from people who claimed to be God’s messengers. And so, when they pressed Jesus to authenticate his claims he, too, is right to be adamant that his very presence in person was enough. Even before Jesus time, the Ninevites were able to recognise God’s warning and repent when Jonah spoke to them; and the Queen of Sheba was also to recognise God’s wisdom in Solomon.  In Jesus case, however, the religious leaders were not ready or willing to receive/see God in Jesus and so they failed to recognise the authenticity of his warnings. These are the same people who had rejected the messenger John the Baptist too, such was their inability to pay attention to God in their midst. 
Jesus was blessed by Simeon who prophesied at his birth, that “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”” (Luke 2:34-35).  
Jesus’ greatest sign was that he overcame temptation in the wilderness, died a brutal death on the Cross, and was resurrected by God to new life. He did this so that we might have abundant life. Through the gift of his Holy Spirit he offers us freedom to live fully, strength not to succumb to temptation, and wisdom to know the difference between right and wrong. That is, of course, if we listen to him. 
Let us pray
Creator God, we thank you for giving us the gift of authentic love and wisdom that we receive through Christ. 
Renew us with courage and willingness to recognise and understand the authenticity of his message. 
Ignite in us a desire to seek his wisdom, opening our hearts and minds to be ready to reimagine and live our lives in a transforming way,
Ready us to challenge injustice and replace it with the kind of authentic love that is pleasing to you. 
In all of this, may we dig deep within and find the courage to listen ~ Amen.
The Blessing
May the Grace of God
The authentic love and wisdom of Christ
And the freeing transforming power of the Holy Spirit,
Be with us all forevermore ~ Amen.