Next Stop: Jerusalem! Are we ready to enter?

We are just days away from Jesus arriving in Jerusalem and the beginning of Holy Week. We will begin the week with Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, followed by days that will bring pain, both emotionally and physically, to Jesus and his followers. In our travels with Jesus during this Lenten season, we witnessed his baptism, including him hearing God's blessing. We also eavesdropped on his first sermon to the disciples, telling them what his ministry would look like and what he expects of his followers. His expectations should be a mirror of his own ministry.  Jesus' ministry included mourning with people, being humble, working hard for justice, showing mercy, having a pure heart, working for peace, and enduring pain for doing what is right. We also have witnessed his presence with people who have been marginalized. Jesus goes out of his way to engage with people who are beyond what we would call his "inner circle."
If we take seriously God's call to us to be followers of Jesus, then our faith will call us to action for our brothers and sisters who are being marginalized today, and to use the Beatitudes to guide our actions. This calls to action might include healthcare, immigration, fair wages, prison reform, women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights, funding for education, gun control, Black Lives Matter, and on and on. Each of us has different passions that will draw us to act on behalf of our neighbors.
If your faith is calling you to advocacy, there are many ways you can stay connected and be encouraged to work on behalf of those standing on the side of the road calling for help, as Bartimaeus, the blind man did in our text from the Lenten series. You can write letters and make calls to legislators from the training provided last week, attend the Southwest Association meeting on May 6, focusing on Opportunities for Advocacy ($15 registration, reservations due to Ann, abeaty@firstcongmadison.org by April 18th), or join the group Advocacy: March On through Realm, our database. If you join the group, you will receive notifications on issues needing immediate attention and ways you can respond. You will also be notified of upcoming events in which you can participate.
Jesus is entering Jerusalem next week. He enters the gates of the city, knowing clearly the consequences of his actions with his brothers and sisters. Are we ready to enter Jerusalem? Can we say our actions have upset those in power because we reached out to ALL of our brothers and sisters? Nobody can be Jesus, like Jesus.  But it doesn't hurt to try!

~ Eldonna Hazen

Posted on April 4, 2017 at 10:47 am in Featured Content.

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