Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Voices of Distraction

Tonight we listen for the Voices of Distraction. When you read across the breadth of the Gospels it is striking how it seemed many people were so consumed by the agendas that they brought to their relationship with Jesus that they often missed hearing what he was actually saying. This group included his own family and many of the disciples that were closest to him. Each seemed to want to shape Jesus in a fashion to meet their needs and their expectations.

Jesus had to ignore these voices of distraction and claim a single-minded focus on fulfilling the will of the Father. Jesus had come for a purpose and in this week of chaos and confusion in Jerusalem this purpose was to be fulfilled. We hear Jesus say in John 12:27-33 "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. We also hear it in the cry heard in the Garden of Gethsemane: (Luke 22:42 )”Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

As we move through the streets of Jerusalem toward the cross and the world chaining – life transforming - empty tomb it is worthy to consider the role the voices of distraction play in our journey.
1. Do our expectations of Jesus so shape our relationship with Jesus that we can miss his true voice in our lives?
2. Who are the voices of distraction that separate you from having a single-minded focus on following the will and the way of Jesus? What is distracting you from being able to focus on the Christ story this Easter?
3. And how will you deal with these voices and distractions so you might have a fresh encounter with Christ this Easter?
It’s time to go. The streets await us. The journey toward Easter morn awaits us. May we set aside the voices of distraction long enough to hear the voice of this one named Jesus.

Grace and Peace, Tom

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