Day 87: Judges 1–3, Psalm 73, John 7 – The Very Rev. Mark Pendleton

Judges 1–3, Psalm 73, John 7
The Book of Judges tells the story of the season of change that was underway in the lives
of the Israelites. It was a frightening and unsettling time after the deaths of Moses and
Joshua and before the glory days of David and Solomon. It is never easy to live in a time
between strong leaders.
Some political commentators have asked if leaders bring about momentous and historic
times, or do events and challenges rise up and propel great leaders into fame? Is it the
man (or woman) or the movement? I believe it is the latter that prevails most often.
Winds blow, hearts stir, and people find their way to leaders who arrive on the scene
inspired and dedicated, who have something to say and who propose a path forward.
There is a great deal of conversation today about our nation, our culture, The Episcopal
Church, and other churches being in the midst of a season of change. In John 7, Jesus
finds himself in an in-between place and time. Galilee was home and safe, but Judea and
Jerusalem were where the action was—in this case, the Festival of Booths. Jerusalem
was also filled with people who sought to kill Jesus. Even in the face of this threat, Jesus’
brothers thought it might be the right time for Jesus to show his stuff for the whole
world to see. But Jesus wasn’t so sure at first. He held back. He waited.
The Very Rev. Mark Pendleton
Dean of Christ Church Cathedral
Hartford, Connecticut
When do we know if it is our moment
to step from behind the curtain or out
of the pew, throw caution to the winds,
and speak out? When do we hold back,
waiting for the time to move?
How do we claim the voice and authority,
as one of Christ’s own, to speak and do
what Jesus himself would do?
Almighty and all compassionate God,
help us to find our time, our voice, and
our audience to risk becoming a leader
in uncertain times. May you grant each
one of us vision, hope, and the thick skin
that comes with the territory of taking our
rightful place in the community of believers.