Thursday, December 29, 2016
When the city came into view, he wept over it. “If you had only recognized this day, and everything that was good for you! But now it’s too late. In the days ahead your enemies are going to bring up their heavy artillery and surround you, pressing in from every side. They’ll smash you and your babies on the pavement. Not one stone will be left intact. All this because you didn’t recognize and welcome God’s personal visit” Luke 19:41-44
Whoa! It’s hard to get to hope from this scripture. Words like this are the staple of the fire and brimstone preacher who doesn’t even seem to worship the same God that I do. It’s difficult to hear this from the mouth of Jesus, reflecting a loving God who wants good for us. Despite my personal tendency to turn away from such scripture, there is great wisdom here. Even if the way it is expressed may be scary and off putting.
I can’t believe that Jesus was saying this as an absolute, it’s too late, sorry, good-by, the end. If so, why was he going to all that trouble? The graphic images of smashing babies and a city in rubble are surely not meant as an absolute, “But now it’s too late.” I hope that Jesus was speaking like this in order to let us see our poor judgment and turn back towards God. In order to tell us that it’s really not too late if we choose to change.
Or perhaps he was overcome by his great love for the people of this city who did not recognize him while he was here with us, his great grief and disappointment that the people of the day seemed to have other matters on their minds and could not get past the troubles of the day to see the miracle in front of them. I’d rather look at it this way, that we are just too short sighted to see the love right in front of us and that we just need this pointed out to us. Love is all around us and I like to think that it’s never too late to choose that love.
Gracious and loving God, please be patient with us when we fail to see the love right in front of us, waiting for us to simply open our eyes and see. Guide us to the love you place in front of us, just for us. Open our eyes that we may see the love that others may have missed, in the name of the living Christ. Amen
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