Expectantly Waiting, and Acting

Today’s lectionary reading in Luke focuses on Jesus in the throes of death, and the aftermath: The centurion praising God after seeing him die, the crowds going away beating their breasts, the “acquaintances” of Jesus hovering at a distance, the veil in the temple torn. And Joseph of Arimathea, “a good man,” who was “waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God,” doing a mitzvah by providing a dignified burial for Jesus.

The theme of “waiting” on the Lord, and for the kingdom, which begins in Genesis, “For your salvation I wait, oh Lord,” and continues through the Psalms and Micah would have been familiar to those hearing or reading the words written in Luke. Here is Joseph of Arimathea,  a member of the council who did not agree with the council’s course of action against Jesus, providing a model of behavior for how to serve  in times when the prevailing mindset results in great evil.

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