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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, April 15, 2019              

Today’s Scripture Reading | Matthew 23:37–24:2

“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! See, your house is left to you, desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

As Jesus came out of the temple and was going away, his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. Then he asked them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly I tell you, not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.” (NRSV)

Leading up to this passage, we have seen a number of different emotions from Jesus. Following his entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, we see his anger in his cleaning of the temple, his cursing the fig tree outside Jerusalem. He demonstrated patience in several instances of being interrogated by the Pharisees about his actions. And here we see sorrow—deep sorrow in his lament over the refusal of Jerusalem’s refusal to change.

Jesus’ statement about gathering her people under his wings reveals to me his tender caring for the world in general and Jerusalem and his fellow Jews in particular. To me this statement indicates that if Jerusalem were to repent, forgiveness would flow from God’s deep enfolding and indwelling love for humanity.

How often have we, too, refused to turn from those actions and attitudes that prevent us from acknowledging, accepting, and participating in God’s deep and indwelling love?

God of power and promise, open our hearts to your presence, and fill us with all-encompassing love for you and for those around us. Amen.

Written by Marsha Heizer, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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