Prayer for the day
Let your loving-kindness, O LORD, be upon us, as we have put our trust in you.
Scripture for the day
The land of Israel is a special place, and no place in Israel is more unique and important than the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a city of breathtaking beauty, the place where Jesus walked, the place where the temple stood.
Jerusalem is a city that has known significant pain and conflict as well. Right now, the Old City of Jerusalem is separated into four quarters, and the larger city of Jerusalem, while multi-cultural, is also rife with violence and hatred. What should be the most glorious place is dangerous, and has before been a place of death and desolation.
I wonder if Jesus could see that as he looked down on Jerusalem. I wonder if he could see the destruction that was coming. I wonder if that’s why he wept for the City of God. He speaks about Jerusalem with pain in his voice, but with a measure of disgust and sadness: Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets. Yet he longs to gather the people as a hen.
Saul. Saul, the king who killed the priests, was supposed to be the shining example of kingship. He was tall, he was handsome, he was gifted and chosen by God. Yet he was the king who sought the death of his favorites, the king who ruined the people, the king who eventually had to commit suicide on his own sword rather than be captured by the Philistines.
Saul and Jerusalem serve as dual warnings, ringing in our ears across the millennia. The beauty and the outward glory of a thing may hide a kernel that is rotting within. The most lovely and glorious may hide hatred, bitterness, and grief.
God looks at our unloveliness covered in our thin veneer, and God, like Jesus in Luke, longs to gather us, to cleanse us, to remove the husk and clean the kernel.
Will we be cleaned?