Here’s my question: What troubles your soul today? What is the hour from which you want to be saved? Now before you answer, let me explain what I am asking about. I’m asking about more than just something that upset you or didn’t go your way. I am asking about more than an inconvenience, interruption, or a disappointment. I am asking about those things, events, experiences that shake you to the core. I am asking about those hours that terrify you. I am talking about those memories, thoughts, feelings, or fears that never go away. No matter how hard you try you can’t wish, deny, or ignore them away. They are the things that give you no rest and won’t let you go. They keep stirring up your insides. They hound you through the day and haunt you through the night. They are there when you fall asleep at night and when you wake in the morning. They just keep coming back, coming back, coming back.
I don’t know if “unlesses” is a real word but I am using it as a noun and the plural of unless. We all have our “unlesses.” They’re about how and what we see. They are the restrictions, limitations, and conditions that shape and inform our relationships and understanding of each other, Jesus, and ourselves. Jesus has his "unlesses" too. Unless is the hinge around which we either see or do not see Jesus.
Seeing Jesus isn’t a spectator sport. It is a way to be followed, a truth to be embodied, a life to be lived. It's being a grain of wheat that falls into the ground and dies so that it might bear much fruit. That's where we see him. It's the letting go, the emptying, the leaving behind, and the dying that makes space for new life to arise.
The collect and reading for the Fifth Sunday of Lent may be found here. The following sermon is based on John 12:20-33. They say there are three things that cannot be talked about. You know them, right? Religion, sex, and…