Sunday, April 13

4-13By Michele McGrath of Ridgewood, New Jersey, USA

When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?”

—Matthew 21:10

On January 17, 1994, I felt a huge jolt to the house, and then everything began to roll and sway for a half minute that seemed to last forever. I stood still in the hall and watched a bottle of lotion fall off the counter.

Having lived in Southern California my entire life, earthquakes were nothing new. I recently had moved from the San Fernando Valley, which was the epicenter of this quake. Though I lived 90 miles away, I could tell this earthquake wasn’t like the frequent temblors that simply make you feel off balance and ask yourself, “Is it me, or is something else going on?” Though the effect on my house was not serious, I knew it was serious for someone, somewhere.

As in every natural disaster, people set aside their regular lives to focus on what matters most. Their world was “shaken” in a literal way. When Matthew writes about the Palm Sunday drama that begins Passion Week, he says the whole city shook. Suddenly, the foundations shifted. People’s expectations radically changed.

What events have rocked your world? Did they cause turmoil, or were they transformative? How have they caused you to reflect on what matters most? How does our ritual reenactment today of Jesus’ arrival as Messiah make a visible difference in your life?

Prayer for Peace
Balance of the Earth, center us in you when we are on shaky ground. Help us focus on what matters most, when life feels distorted. Lift our eyes to the horizon, where peace seems possible.

Spiritual Practice: Experience Congregations in Mission
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 164:9a–d. Re-read the sentence, “If you truly would be Community of Christ, then embody and live the concerns and passion of Christ.” Make a list of the issues you feel mattered most to Christ. Make another list of issues that matter to your congregation. Reflect on the likenesses and differences. How can you help align the lists? Throughout the day, as issues arise, ask yourself, “Would this matter to Christ?”

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will focus on solid, Enduring Principles to keep me steady.

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. Susan Gregory

     /  22 April 2014

    I appreciated your story as most of us have experienced the reality of an earthquake – either personally or witnessing the devastation on the news. Comparing it to the situation in Jesus’ time is eye opening, not something I really gave consideration to before. Thanks for sharing!


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