On the surface today’s readings — and if we are honest Lent as a whole — can be violently dark. Filled with lines such as “Hekeldama, known as the field of blood,” “their path is one of destruction,” and “gathered and burned,” the images invoked are ones that prey upon our most deep-set fears and regrets over past decisions. Who hasn’t felt or wondered if we might have hardened hearts or bitter thoughts? It isn’t hard to wonder if we haven’t been rewarded for our wickedness or are just masquerading as good people.
Yet there is another story, not hidden but boldly evident if we get past the darkness: one of choice, and ultimately of love. Yet it isn’t our decisions and mistakes that draw us in. It is the forgiving choice of the Creator. We are told today in John “You did not choose me, but I chose you,” and it is echoed through the drawing of lots by the Apostles in Acts and rejoiced in Philippians’ call to reject the old and embrace the new.
Even in this time of repentance God calls us to be loved. To forgive one another and ourselves and to see that our mistakes aren’t what is important. Our choices and decisions in the past are done now. We have only one choice to make and it is an easy one. To accept redemption, to seek the love that was made flesh and even now, is working to heal this world.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016