The Fifth Sunday in Lent
Time is an interesting concept. We are all a slave to time, marching ever forward. Seasons change - summer construction season to fall, almost winter to early thaw, then second winter before a brief spring, back to summer construction. Days have a natural cycle of deepest night to early dawn, the break of day with the sun poking through, climbing to the highest it can before tipping over, dipping back down to dusk and evening and night. Time is natural, eternal, unchanging and urgent. Yet, we divide the days into hours, and link them together to make weeks. We try to harness and control time with watches and clocks, but the truth is time again no matter the devices we invent to keep track of time, something will always surprise us, something will happen that will trigger something else, catching us off guard. Catching us all off balance. And we never know when that will happen.
In this week's reading from John on Sunday, it is the arrival of "the Greeks" that trigger this fierce urgency in Jesus, and it is not a gentle revelation. Jesus speaks out against "the world" in a similar manner that activists today speak out against "The System" - that is structures and institutions that shape human life and hold us all captive to live in particular ways. There are many systems that make up "The System" - like consumerism: the urge to buy more stuff even though it is killing workers and their families, domination: winners versus losers, economic practices that keep people unable to reverse the cycle of poverty, violence.
On Sunday, we will hear the phrases "The Hour Has Come" and "Now is the Judgement of the World" and I cannot help but think these phrases apply to our times, too.