Hebrews 12:3. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.
One of our enduring human traits is to quickly put the “I” forward and dwell on our perceived (or real!) hurts and transgressions, and push down empathy for others. It’s so easy to look around and observe that we’ve been unjustly singled out, for of course it’s always unjustified! Others just don’t seem to be as hurt as we are.
And if you’re from my generation, some of the Simon & Garfunkel “Blessed” lyrics may come to mind: “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit. Blessed is the lamb whose blood flows. Blessed are the sat upon, Spat upon, Ratted on, O Lord, Why have you forsaken me? … I have tended my own garden much too long.” The meek may inherit, but as for me, why am I forsaken? Am I feeling too sorry for myself too much?
Dwelling on our own garden is something we can examine now, in our Lenten meditations… and contemplate how Jesus, in our human form and awaiting the cross, must have felt about the hostility and anger coming his way… While we in Medina in 2019 are far removed from his time and place, there have to be hurts and transgressions in common with his journey. Can we prayerfully reflect on this now and be as accepting as he was to his fate? Can we push down those perceived slights, hurts and transgressions from others in our own garden while thinking of his life and what it means to us this Lent? Surely this will prepare our hearts and minds for Easter!