A Hero’s Journey

Friday of the Second Week of Lent

Here comes the master dreamer! Let us kill him…                         Genesis 37

Here is the one who will inherit everything. Let us kill him….   Matthew 21

Interesting to look at these two readings, the incidents separated by about four thousand years, and see the same pattern. The first reading is the story of Joseph, beloved son of Israel, who is sent by his father to his brothers. His brothers hate him because of the attention he receives from their father but instead of killing him, they sell him to a caravan going into Egypt.

The second reference from Matthew is a parable Jesus tells. The tenants at a vineyard conspire and kill the owner’s messengers until finally the owner sends his son. They kill the owners son, thinking they will now have the vineyard.

As we move through Lent, we’ll hear more references to the death of the promised one. It’s like what we say when we talk about someone being on a pedestal and getting knocked off. We seem to get a perverse pleasure in it. They weren’t so great after all! we tell ourselves. Look at the many stories of Tiger Woods or Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan. They’re not so great after all! Let’s knock them off their pedestals and kill them with our judgments.

When I work out at home, I usually watch a movie to keep me going. Yesterday, I was watching a Harry Potter movie. He is the “chosen one” although he doesn’t particularly want to be: it’s clear the fate of most chosen ones. Harry Potter is the hero’s journey myth in a modern setting. Joseph and his amazing coat of many colors is the hero’s journey. As is Jesus’s journey: life, battle, transformation. As is Tiger Woods or Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan.

We are all on a hero’s journey. Oh, I don’t mean you are Jesus or Joseph or even Charlie Sheen, for that matter; you are, in fact you. And your life is just as much a hero’s journey. Haven’t you had your battles? And you have won or you’ve retreated “to fight another day.” Haven’t we all been on a pedestal to someone and been knocked off – by an unkind word, by jealousy, by anger, by judgment?

The stories of life don’t change – the settings change, but the stories don’t. The details change, but the stories don’t.

Where, right now in your life, does your Golden Fleece lie? What must you do to find it; how must you transform to bring it back and make it useful to your world?

Here’s another verse you can take with you today. It’s from the Psalm response:

They had weighed him down with fetters, and she was bound with chains. Till predictions came to pass and the word of the Lord proved true.

One thought on “A Hero’s Journey

  1. Oh my! what an excellent word picture that is, Janet:”…knock them off their pedestals and KILL THEM WITH OUR JUDGMENTS(caps mine)”

    Thank you-again-for reminding me how awfully powerful are the judgments I resist hurling, like nasty Molotov cocktails!

    May God keep a hand over my mouth and a kind word in my ears that I may only offer love, support and compassion…or silence.

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