When I was a younger pastor in Albert Lea, I had dreams that I was still at home on Minnie Madden, and the church bell was ringing, but I could never get to church. As I got older, I didn’t have those dreams at Marshfield or Collinsville. Perhaps I came to recognize that things would go on whether I got there or not, so relax.
We might raise the question concerning Jesus this week. Is he ever going to get to Jerusalem to the cross and resurrection? Shortly after his Transfiguration, Luke tells us “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.” Wouldn’t Luke send him on a direct march to the City of God’s Peace. But he doesn’t. Instead Luke delays Jesus for ten chapters. We may be anxious to have Jesus take care of the business of the guiltless one taking on our guilt, of forgiving us because we don’t really know what we are doing in our life, of Jesus appearing among the disciples after his resurrection and granting them “Peace.”
However, Luke wants us to slow down and consider Jesus ministry along the way. He sends out 72 disciples on a mission to the surrounding towns, He visits Martha and Mary, He takes time to teach the disciples the Lord’s Prayer, He tells parables of the woman who lost a coin, of the lost sheep, of a prodigal son and his forgiving father and grumpy older brother.
Sometimes I think Lent is too long, but it gives us time to consider, as Luke would have us do, that Jesus had a larger ministry than his birth in Bethlehem, his innocent suffering and death in Jerusalem and his rising again to new life for us.
So, I say to myself, “Slow down. He’ll get there.”