Lent Devotion, April 12, 2017

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In his ministry, Jesus treated outsiders as if they were insiders. He opened the kingdom of heaven to people who, according to the religious thought of the day, had no right to enter it. He visited the house of a scoundrel like Zaccheus. He allowed a loose woman to anoint him in public. He made a Samaritan the hero of a story. He healed on the sabbath.

In the eyes of religious leadership, such actions were destroying the traditional ways. He was too liberal and too radical. He was making things too easy. They decided he had to be stopped before he ruined everything. There was no room for someone like him.

They arranged for him to be arrested, and then crucified on a hill outside the city wall. By doing this, the religious leaders reasoned, walls will be kept up, barriers will remain intact, and doors will say closed. And all those who not belong will be kept out.

            Lord, when we exclude others, we crucify you anew. Forgive us, and help us do better. Amen.

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