At Church last Sunday, the preacher asked our congregation if they prefer to hear “Good News first or Bad News first?” Very interesting question. Research tells us that over 70% would prefer the “Bad News” first!
As I begin this blog, my thoughts are on Christ’s last days, or formally known as “Passion” or “Holy” Week. Three years ago we were in Jerusalem around this very time of year, and as we walked down the final path that our Savior walked, my specific thoughts were those of our speaker on Palm-Sunday. “Christ knew from the beginning that He would suffer, and be rejected by friends and family, as He walked alone on this very path. The apostle Luke reported that Jesus’ only spoken words, as he walked this lowly and lonely path, were to The Daughters of Jerusalem:
“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, “Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then “they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” For if men do these things when the tree is green, What will happen when it is dry?” – Luke 23:28-31
What does this latter statement mean? Is the Son of the living God, the Alpha and the Omega, (Who knows the beginning and the end) warning the Jews that they will cease to exist as a people in the Promised Land after Rome destroys them in 66 A.D.? Or could it be a message to us, that we praise Him one week, and the next week we are complacent to the understanding of His Love and Sacrifice for us?
As I continued the walk towards “Golgotha”, I found it was easier to Look Back, than Look Forward! Yes, I am one who wants to hear the bad news first. Jesus told the disciples three times that He would die, but only once that He would rise again…what pain, what sorrow; but what victory for me!! As I look forward to what is meaningful, long-lasting and has some impact for the Kingdom, I am reminded of the need to focus on our relationships and how they pertain to our joy and true love of others – which is the good-news of our salvation.
The further we travel down the path of life, the more we realize that our most precious possessions are our relationships, long-term loved ones that span decades of shared memories, fresh friendships, enjoying new communities, and of course, family and friends spread all over this continent. My wife and I have always deeply valued these relationships; and as an “investment”, these relationships have invested in us; and we recognize how they have enriched our lives!
Again, looking forward to what is true value, these relationships are more precious than silver and gold. Invest your time in relationships with others while the tree is green and when it is dry. They will continue to pay dividends! The path and time is short, so start now!