Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Life is in the Details

Life is details -- phones that keep ringing, email that has to be returned, computers that crash, copy machines that jam, and children who are sick when we need to be at work. We struggle with the details of bodies that don’t work as they should, with doctors, specialists, medical tests and pills. Our children juggle homework, athletics, orthodontists and guitar lessons. Then we all go to church on Sunday, and what do we find but more details? Duties of the church has to be done, Sunday School roll, offering counted, bulletins folded, teaching children's Sunday school, and many more unseen details have to be done. Worship is filled with hymns and prayers, sacraments and readings, more details. How can we become more spiritual with attending to all these details?
Luke describes Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as full of details. We are given specific details, the exact location: the Jerusalem suburbs of Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives. Jesus then pulls two of his disciples aside, gives them specific detail instructions that fulfills the exact Old Testament prophesy. He knows exactly what type of colt he wants -- one that had never been ridden. He knows exactly where the colt is. He’s even worked out a response to the public relations problem of swiping a colt. "If anyone asks you . . . just say this, ‘The Lord needs it."’
During Lent we all feel the need to become more spiritual. We tend to think that spirituality means escaping the concern with detail. Spiritual people, we think, live simple lives. They don’t worry about mortgages and dentist appointments and going to church committee meetings. They wear sandals, meditate and feed the birds. But that is not the biblical understanding of spirituality. According to the Bible, the hindrance to our spirituality is not that we pay attention to the details of life, but that we pay too much attention to the wrong details.
There are a lot of details that Jesus ignored. He didn’t worry about the detail of urgency. He didn’t worry about the detail of effectiveness. Jesus didn’t worry about the detail of recognition. He didn’t worry about the detail of popularity. He didn’t worry about the detail of tomorrow. Details that consume us never crossed Jesus’ mind. And we easily overlook the details he was concerned about. Our souls are dried out because we have tried so hard to save ourselves by controlling the wrong details that we have no energy left for the detail of finding a savior.
We know the details of Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, Good Friday and Easter. We’ve gone through them year after year. Why do this again? For the same reason that we go through the details every Sunday. It’s the only way we can take our eyes off the things that do not matter and set them upon the arrival of the Savior. The best news is that once we’ve learned to look for Jesus, we’ll find him in every detail of our life.
May God Bless you during this time of self reflection and self examination known as Lent.
Do something nice for someone and take care of yourself and one another!
See ya at Wrestlemania- Tommy