Shade Pulling

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today is Ash Wednesday. It is a day when we remember that it is, “from dust that we have come and to dust we shall return (Genesis 3:19)”. Traditionally, on this day, Christians around the world have paused to pray and reflect upon the direction of their lives. Many give something up, as a way to let more of God in. The deal with this day each year, is that I am reminded that I am often as weak as the dust I came from, especially in the face of temptation.

On Sunday, I am going to preach on Luke 4:1-13- the story of Jesus' temptation. Jesus said no to each temptation that the devil brought his way. It is an amazing accounting of the two superstars of the cosmos dueling it out . As we move through Lent this year, toward the events of Holy Week, I pray that in our giving something up and letting more of God in, we do so at least in part, with Haiti in mind. History tells me that now as we move into the second month, we are more tempted to switch the channel off of Haiti and to begin to have thoughts of “have we done enough? Is it time to move on?”

Tony Compolo is one of my favorite teachers. I ran across an article by him recently that I think I might keep by my side this Lent. Tony says, “when I was in Haiti, I was at this restaurant table, ready to eat my meal. I looked to the right, and there were three boys…Dirty and filthy , with swelled bodies and hair thin and rust colored from malnutrition, the boys pressed their noses against the glass, staring at the food on my plate. The waiter, seeing my discomfort, moved in quickly and pulled the shade, and then he said to me, ‘Don’t let that bother you; enjoy your meal.’ As if I could. But isn’t that what we all do? Don’t we pull the shade? (Tony Compolo, “The Best of Times the Worst of Times”)

I know I am often tempted to “pull the shade”. May we each give up some “shade pulling” this Lent and allow Jesus to let  some more brothers and sister into our humanity.

See you tonight at Rock Canyon High, as well as Sunday morning.

Still in one peace,

David J. Jensen

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