“Hindsight is 20/20!” How often we discover this axiom to be true. Once we know how the story unfolds, how history plays itself out, our retellings exhibit remarkable insight. “Of course [some dramatic and unexpected moment] had to happen, so that [some now valued thing] could result.” If my wife hadn’t trusted the advice of her youth director to take a summer camp job, we would never have met and fallen in love. With hindsight, the otherwise ordinary, become transformed into the substance of legends.
Our Gospel writer has hindsight guiding his hand as he chronicles the important pieces of Jesus’ story to share with his community of Jesus followers. Chapters 7, 8, and 9 of Luke Gospel are filled with the substantial stories that point to the breadth of Jesus’ ministry. We hear his most important teachings, experience the transformative power of healing, and witness life-giving miracles. What do all these particular stories tell us? Who is Jesus? Peter declares, “the Messiah!” (Lk 9:20)
But Luke knows the rest of the story and knows that the fullness of Jesus’ identity is not to be defined only by what has happened so far. Something even greater is to come. And in typical Jesus fashion, “greatness” is not what you would expect it to be.
This point in the story is exactly where we are at in the church year and, perhaps, in our lives as well. While Jesus’ story turns in the week ahead, ours will too. As we consider the pieces of Jesus’ story that we have been paying attention to, what is it that we will hang on to as we start our journey to the cross and the new life beyond? As we anticipate a long-awaited liberation from a global pandemic, what is it that we will remember about the experiences we have had? Will these prior memories shape our future? Or will the future shape our memories?
May God’s peace find you this day. – Pastor Peter
Let us pray: Everlasting God, you give strength to the weak and power to the faint. Make us agents of your healing and wholeness, that your good news may be made known to the ends of your creation, through Jesus Christ our Savior and Friend, Amen.