Day 36: Sunday in the Sixth Week of Lent
Lo, your king comes to you;
….triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey,
….on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Zechariah spoke when the city of Jerusalem was still in ruins. Cyrus the Great has taken Babylon and now reigns over a vast Persian Empire. Cyrus has allowed the exiles taken to Babylon in chains to return home. He has given permission for the building of the temple in Jerusalem. But, 18 years later, only the altar has been established. The people are preoccupied with re-establishing their own lives. Haggai will challenge them to put God first. “Is it a time for you yourselves to live in your paneled houses, while this house [the temple] lies in ruins?”
Haggai is focused on today; his prophetic messages are given with exact dates. Zechariah, however, is like that kid on every field trip who wanders off from the group and climbs the nearest hill to see what’s in the distance. The prophet sees a time when the whole nation is restored and a king rides up to the city in peace.
Zechariah has things to say about his moment in time. He, too, calls for rebuilding the temple. What he sees, though, is that what we build today leads towards a future when “the warrior’s bow is banished”(TNK) and the coming king shall rule “from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.”
in a broken world you have raised up the broken body of your Son
that we may turn to you and live.
Wash away all that corrodes the human heart
and raise us each day into life that is true and enduring.
– A prayer for the sixth week of Lent
(For the themes and sermons of other weeks see the menu for Lent 2018 at Holy Seasons.)