Today is Thursday the 27th of March in the Third Week of Lent.

The monks of Pluscarden Abbey sing Ecce quam bonum: “ How good and how pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in unity!  It is like precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes.”

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Luke.

Those that opposed Jesus could not understand… ‘How on earth could someone like Jesus, on one level so removed from the religious establishment perform such miracles?’ It seems odd to think of someone outside of our religious hierarchy being able to do these things – and it’s one of the reasons why so many people attack Jesus.  But, as is also usual in these accounts, Jesus is more than able to deal with his detractors; he poses a simple question – if his authority is from the devil why on earth is the devil casting himself out? How do you imagine Jesus in this situation? What does he look like? Sound like?

‘Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert…’ Jesus uses this simple yet devastating argument to confound the religious authorities. But it’s difficult for us too. You don’t have to look far in our world to see kingdoms divided against themselves – families, neighbourhoods, communities, wider society. Even the Church. How do you want to respond to this challenge? 

If dis-integration is damaging to a kingdom it is also damaging to the individual. Jesus tells us that he comes so that we might have life in its fullness yet we cannot enjoy that fullness of life if we are not heading towards personal integration. Are there aspects of your life you feel are out of step with the rest of your life? As you listen to the word’s of Jesus again, ask God to come into your prayer and heal with his loving spirit.

In the last part of the passage Jesus issues a stark warning; those who are not with him are against him. Thankfully there is, for all people, the chance of forgiveness! Take this opportunity in these last few moments of prayer to recommit yourself to discipleship  - but not out of fear; out of love. What do you have to say to the Lord today?