Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Jerusalem, Jerusalem...



Matthew 23: 37-39

37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 38 See, your house is left to you, desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.' "

After casting judgment on the "scribes and pharisees," Jesus mentions his desire to gather up the "children of Jerusalem," but they were not willing.  These same scribes and Pharisees are among the "children of Jerusalem" for whom Jesus offers this lament, this desire.  He names the importance of the willingness of people to hear and see the good news that Jesus is proclaiming, and he is naming for us the willingness of us to hear and see the good news that was proclaimed in Jesus. 

Of course, for me, this passage is hard to hear without also thinking about the earthly Jerusalem here in 2010, which is surrounded by conflict, animosity, and long-held prejudice and violence.  Jerusalem also has people working for peace, and praying and hoping for peace in Jerusalem.  The conflicts of Jerusalem also remind us of the various conflicts, large and small, that are present all around our broken and hurting world.  The need for God's healing in the world was never more evident than today, and the need for followers of Jesus to live out God's healing and reconciliation and peace was never more evident than today. 

The good news is that this work is not for us to do alone.  The good news is that Jesus offers salvation and healing to us right now.  God's is working out healing and reconciliation and peace, and we can turn and offer our willing hands and hearts to this important work.  Jesus has gathered us up as a hen, and God has offered us healing, as well as the strength and courage to offer that healing and reconciliation to the world.

May we turn and be willing to hear and to work for healing, reconciliation and peace,

Peace and Blessings,

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey


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