Luke 13:1-9, 31-35
When Jesus laments over Jerusalem you’d perhaps like it to be a ‘real man’ image where Jesus uses that muscular image like the ending of some Hollywood disaster movie and the hero looks back, rugged and dirty, a cut above his eye and a tear rolling down his cheek because he couldn’t save more.
Jesus talks of mother hens.
Hmmmm. Doesn’t seem to quite work at least on the macho level, the Trump ‘make america great’ model. But what we do have is an image where vulnerability is at the core. Real vulnerability. This is not a Hollywood film but the reality of the kingdom and while we might want Jesus to be more like the fox, it’s the hen that is more exact, because that is love.
You can’t save the universe from a position of power. You can’t open the door of the kingdom with might and muscle. You can only do it from a position of vulnerability where love is ready to give everything for the sake of others and not come out the winner. Let’s not turn our Lenten theology into a blockbuster. Jesus sees here that only being vulnerable, only when love willingly says, ‘there is no line I will not cross’ and then faces the consequences that is the cost of loving a world can anything kingdom like happen.
Forget crosses. Really. Forget them. That’s not what this is about. It is about giving of self and it could be a cross or it could be anything. Nothing special happens on the cross except the terrible outcome of someone who chooses to love to the end. This alone is the plan: live love to the very end. Don’t stop loving.
Everything else is a consequence of that. Not the plan. Don’t start this story of Lent with even the slightest flicker of might, that ‘we win in the end’. We don’t. Love loves to the end. And that’s it. And when Jesus laments, Jesus recognises that simple fact of everything he has done: love all the way to the end.
Everything else that happens after are the outcomes of that.