Mondays in Lent: March 8

Each Monday in Lent we are providing a Lenten Reading from the Lamoni Heartland Mission Center Diversity Team. This week’s reflection comes from Pastor Mark Benson of Ames Congregation, Community of Christ. 

Journey To The Cross

There are 40 days and 6 Sundays in Lent. The 7th Sunday being Easter. We are honoring the 3rd Sunday of Lent. Half way there!

Do you look at something and see it half full or half empty? Are you looking back at this Lenten Journey so far or are you looking forward? Forward to what will be revealed.

Pause now at this time in reading this. Focus on your favorite scripture. What is it that has endeared this scripture to you? Whether that has been a day or your entire life. What is it that speaks to you through this scripture?

Know that our Risen Lord desires to draw you nearer to Him. Jesus wants a closer relationship with you. This day, this 3rd Sunday of Lent, choose that path that accomplishes this.

In 24 days we will celebrate Easter and our Risen Savior. In 27 days this will be the anniversary of our church, Community of Christ.

In the history of mankind and in the history of our church we have witnessed many injustices. The questioned must be asked….. Where do you stand? When you are confronted with injustice are you silent?

I first heard this quote on a popular TV show from the late ‘90’s. That show was 7th Heaven. The quote: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” John F Kennedy used it and it is still true today.

Within days of our dedication of the Temple in Impendence a horrific act was unfolding; know now as the Rwandan Genocide. In 100 days the Hutu rebels killed 800,000 Tutsi. The tragic part of this was that the UN and all privileged countries did nothing to stop or help end this massacre! We did everything we could to evacuate our mostly white citizens and turned our backs on the people of Rwanda.

Deception always travels with rationalization.

We talked ourselves into why it was ok to walk away. 27 years later we are still addressing some of the same issues of turning our heads the other direction. We rationalize our “it’s ok” position. Or “someone else will take care of it”.

The Rwandan Genocide began on April 6, 1994. Eleven days later we were dedicating the new Temple. Dedicating this temple to The Pursuit of Peace.

On our journey to the cross, let us not leave anyone behind. Our songs sing of this….We Are Companions On The Journey. Our scriptures time and time again challenge us with this charge.

Do not neglect the smallest among you, for even the least of these are treasures in God’s sight. Doctrine & Covenants 161: 4a

Beloved Community of Christ, do not just speak and sing of Zion. Live, love, and share as Zion: those who strive to be visibly one in Christ, among whom there are no poor or oppressed.

As Christ’s body, lovingly and patiently bear the weight of criticism from those who hesitate to respond to the divine vision of human worth and equality in Christ. This burden and blessing is yours for divine purposes. Doctrine & Covenants 165: 6ab

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1: 18

On our Journey to the Cross let us recognize the inequality in our world and always live boldly to take a stand against this injustice.

Peace be with you all.

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