Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 23, 2009
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. we hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
The ultimate reality of the Gospel
"And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took
the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said
to them, 'Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem;
and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief
priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to
death, and deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked
and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised
on the third day.'"
From the very beginning of his ministry, Jesus was
a man with a mission from God. He knew why he was
born and what was required of him. The looming
cross was to be a critical and essential part of
the gospel message. Without the cross, we could
not have Easter and resurrection hope. But the
disciples did not understand this at all. To them,
Jesus was a wonderful prophet, teacher, healer,
miracle worker, and friend sent from God. He was
wonderful to be with and they loved him. They had
left everything to serve him. The disciples did
not want Jesus to suffer and die.
Matthew's Gospel describes Jesus preparing the
disciples again for the inevitable harsh reality
awaiting them. He was going to be betrayed and
denied justice. Jesus was going to be tortured
before dying a shameful and agonizing death.
Then he was going to conquer both death and
sin through resurrection power, that is, by
being raised to life!
Our sins and the sins of the world led him to the
cross. On the cross, Jesus paid the full price
and penalty for all our sins of omission and
commission. None of us are perfect. Only Jesus
Christ is the sinless one. He is the great
friend of sinners. "All of us have sinned and
fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23
NIV). There is no greater love than when Christ
willingly went to the cross for us. This is the
ultimate reality of the Gospel message.
Jesus was innocent. He did not commit crimes; he
had no sin in his life. Madeleine L'Engle calls
Jesus "a great universe-disturber, so upsetting
to the establishment of his day that they put
him on a cross, hoping to finish him off. Those
of us who try to follow his Way have a choice,
either to go with him as universe-disturbers,
or to play it safe. Playing it safe ultimately
leads to personal diminishment and death" (L'Engle,
Madeleine, "Glimpses of Grace," p. 108).
L'Engle tells us more about what it means to be a
disturber, "If we disturb the universe, no matter
how lovingly, we're likely to get hurt. Nobody
ever promised that universe-disturbers would have
an easy time of it. Universe-disturbers make
waves, rock boats, upset establishments. Gandhi
upset the great British Empire. Despite his non-
violence, he was unable to stop the shedding of
blood. . . . Anwar Sadat tried to work for
peace . . . knowing that he might die for what
he was doing, and he did." Jesus calls us to
join him in being universe-disturbers.
Evil constantly attempts to conquer Love. The
good news and ultimate reality of the Gospel is
that God conquers evil with the divine Light and
Love of Jesus Christ revealed on the cross.
God, bless us as we reverently contemplate the
ultimate reality of the Gospel message. Help
us understand what it means to be a universe-
disturber as we strive to follow Jesus. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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