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Monday, December 13, 2021

Monday, December 13, 2021

Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17a.  
Psalm 25:3-8. 
Matthew 21:23-27

The way Jesus spoke ruffled many religious leaders.  People respected him, but he lacked the social status to which they owed their own authority. So they approached him one day in the Temple, asking, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?”

This calm authority of Jesus came not from dominating, but from empowering. Not from controlling, but from accepting weakness. Not from special status, but from radical inclusiveness.  Not from a desire to be served, but to serve.  Jesus was able to be who he was because he loved and obeyed his Father who would make the last first.  His authority was that of loving humility. 

How could this be?  Though divine, Jesus fully embodied a vulnerable, human form.  And because Jesus was sinless, he had no barriers around his heart. So, our sin became his sin.  Our brokenness became his brokenness. Jesus had no interest in the ego-driven purity codes or patriarchal taboos of his time.  So he touched and healed those who were judged unclean.  He chose friends who were unimportant people and sinners.  He welcomed the company of women.  And before accepting the ultimate gift of humility in death on the cross, he kneeled before his disciples to tenderly wash their feet.   

Jesus invites us to follow him with eager spirits and open hearts. Let’s drop to our knees and get our hands and feet wet.

Barbara Sheppard