When you watch the news, you can’t help but notice all the horrible stories of people facing pain or problems. It may be death, illness, or injury—none of which make happy stories. I know many who don’t watch the news because of the negative way it impacts them. At the end of the day, we do our best to protect ourselves and those we love from the painful attacks of the world.
One day my kids will find out this is my secret weakness. I can be pretty tough in my expectations at times. I want to help them learn to function in a world where they will continually face trials. Yet, if I see in their eyes the fear of the world or the need for protection, I break down. I want to do everything I can to protect them from the world. I am sure we could look into my history and find many instances that led to my heart for protecting my kids. Then again, just watching the world operate could also give me that same lens that drives me to protect them.
We all feel this to some extent. We think of many ways to protect ourselves. We have security systems in our homes, locks on our cars, and maybe even a weapon for a potential intruder. This isn’t even the half of it. When a child or relative heads off to college, we pray for protection from all the ways the world could attack.
I have a new friend who works in Brentwood, but lives in Ferguson. I was shocked that he lives there (partially because most people who work in Brentwood live a little closer than that). I, of course, was interested in the unrest and how he felt about it. He didn’t leave his house or run in fear. He said most of the unrest stopped after the 10pm news every night. I know the world had a real bad view of what happened in Ferguson, and sometimes St. Louis was painted to be a city of unrest. I also know that wasn’t true. But still, in light of all the dangers going on, it was shocking to see a friend of mine living there with little to no fear.
This weekend we will talk about one of those passages that contradicts our normal way of thinking and reacting, especially since we are often worried about being protected. Jesus is responding to the people who are warning Him about the king who wants to kill Him. Jesus, who knows the dangers of sin in this world, responds as if He is casually tossing the threat aside. It brings us to a very important reflection. He knew the very challenges of the world. He also knew that His provision would take care of us. Jesus suffered so we could be redeemed! Now, how do we stay aware of the dangers and challenges of this world, and at the same time, trust in Jesus and His protection? This weekend our Gospel reading helps us reflect on that tension.