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In today’s scripture, Jesus weeps as he looks over the city of Jerusalem and contemplates the consequences of their failure to recognize him as Messiah.
Now, we may say that this was a very strange time to be crying--and it was. Jesus was in the middle of a parade being given in his honor! Many people—in fact most of the city—had lined the streets leading into Jerusalem to welcome Jesus as he rode triumphantly into the city (upon a donkey). They spread their cloaks on the ground and waved palm fronds shouting, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!”
Now, in the midst of his parade, just as Jesus caught sight of Jerusalem, he began to weep. Why was he weeping? Scripture teaches that Jesus was weeping because although the people were cheering for him, he knew that they did not truly understand who he was or why he had come.
Additionally, some theologians have theorized that Jesus was sad because he knew that the people were looking for a political savior—and he was so much more than that. Other theologians have commented that perhaps Jesus was thinking about his impending death and that he was aware that the same folks who were cheering him on Sunday would be jeering him on Friday!
Oh my! Isn’t this sad? Jesus wept because he knew that as human beings, we often don’t recognize the things that will give us peace. We don’t recognize the presence of God all around us urging us to live in ways that glorify the Kingdom of Love. As a result, we miss opportunities for peace and cultivate opportunities for conflict and for war.
When Jesus was born, the angels heralded, “Peace on Earth and goodwill toward all people (Luke 2:14).” Yet, we are still striving to see that prophecy manifested in the Earth. There are still wars and rumors of wars. There is still untold violence and mayhem, greed and theft. There are still homeless, hungry, thirsty, and naked people who have no means to eke out a living in their own communities.
I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the point…We have yet to do those things that would secure our peace. But, here is today’s GOOD NEWS! It comes in the form of the song, “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” The words are,
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. Let there be peace on Earth, the peace that was meant to be. With God as our Father, brothers all are we, Let me walk with my brother, in perfect harmony. Let peace begin with me; let this be the moment now. With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow, To take each moment and live each moment in peace, eternally. Let there be Peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.
(Words and Music by Jill Jackson and Sy Miller, Circa 1955)
Although the words of this song are not gender neutral, the meaning certainly is! These lyrics remind us that as People of God and lovers of Jesus we can be the manifestation of God’s peace in the Earth. We can love people. We can speak kindly. We can do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8)
As we act in ways that bring more peace into the world, everyone will truly benefit! Now, ain’ta that GOOD NEWS?!
What can you do today to spread peace within your spheres of influence?
Peace-loving God, help me to act in ways that bring more peace and reconciliation into Your world. I can’t wait for you to return again in glory bringing peace to the entire world; as I wait, help me to be your ambassador spreading the GOOD NEWS that you love us and seek our peace. In Jesus Name, Amen.
*The entire scripture reading for today can be found by clicking the ELCA Daily Bible Reading Tab to the right.
*from Pastor Yolanda's blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com/
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*Pastor Yolanda extends a very special welcome to our friends reading outside of the United States of America! We are honored that you are sharing with us today.