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Jerusalem, Jerusalem

 

jerusalem burning

jerusalem burning

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! [Luke 13:34]

Here Luke records Jesus lamenting over the fate of his beloved city, many years before the Romans trashed Jerusalem.

More than 2000 years later, it’s impossible to look over modern Jerusalem and not lament over her divisions. Has there ever been a time when this was not so? History records a litany of bloodshed and violence perpetrated in the name of religion.

But Jerusalem is also the holy city – the throbbing heart of the Jewish people. Abraham Joshua Heschel, a Polish-born American rabbi and a leading 20th century theologian and philosopher wrote, “Even those who believe that God is everywhere set aside a place for a sanctuary. For the sacred to be sensed at all moments everywhere, it must also at this moment be somewhere.”
For Christians of all denominations, the holy city of Jerusalem is the ultimate place of pilgrimage where one might physically walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Jerusalem is the conflicted city within our hearts and the hoped-for heavenly city of promise.

 

 Jerusalem is Planet Earth herself. We lament over the state of our world and our persistent displays of violence against each other. We lament over our continued destruction of the natural environment despite dramatic warning signs.

We are the holy place that kills prophets, healers, sages and innocents in the complex chaos of our ignorance, our self-interest and our passions.

 

Sunday 3rd March  2013       Lismore 7.30m, Dunoon 10am

OT  Isaiah 55:1-9      1Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. 3Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. 4See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. 5See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.

6Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; 7let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 

EPISTLE      1Corinthians 10:1-13       1I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3and all ate the same spiritual food, 4and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. 5Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness.

6Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did. 7Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play.” 8We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents. 10And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. 13No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

GOSPEL     Luke 13:31-35     Jesus Laments Over Jerusalem      31At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” 32He said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me, ‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. 33Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’ 34Jerusalem, 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! 35See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

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