Faith Daily | 18 November 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST
whose sovereign purpose none can make void:
give us faith to be steadfast amid the tumults of this world,
knowing that your kingdom shall come,
and your will be done,
to your eternal glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 19: 41-44
41 As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42saying, ‘If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. 44They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.’
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Virginia Hasker
A Lament for Jerusalem
Luke’s gospel is structured around Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem. The last stage of this journey turns into a triumphant procession from the Mount of Olives into the city (celebrated by us on Palm Sunday). But at some point Jesus pauses, overcome with emotion. He looks at the city skyline, dominated by the magnificent temple, and he weeps aloud.
What does he see? What moves him so deeply? The whole history of Israel, his own people, unfolds before him. Everything leads to this day, to his own coming among them. But they are blind, obstinate and unbelieving. They are rejecting their Messiah. Jesus also has a premonition of what this people will suffer during the siege of Jerusalem by a Roman army in 70AD.
I think that God weeps over the state of our world today – refugees pouring out of Afghanistan, Kurdistan and Myanmar as well as people suffering with corrupt Governments and genocide in other places.
The people in Jerusalem don’t recognise that God has come among them in the form of Jesus. Within one week the crowd turned from hailing Jesus with a huge welcome to campaigning for his death. Jesus knew his destiny, as evidenced by his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, so he knew when he entered Jerusalem what was ahead of him in that week.
Peace and contentment are two blessings that we desire in life and when we lack them we are greatly disturbed. Jesus, too, was disturbed and wept at the future destruction of his beloved Jerusalem. He offers us a peace that the world cannot give and can only be found in friendship with him.
When God draws near to us, or is present in a beautiful natural form, do we recognise him?
FINAL PRAYER: Psalm 117
All you nations, praise the Lord. All you people on earth, praise him. 2 Great is his love for us. The Lord is faithful forever.
Praise the Lord.