As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Indeed, 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. They 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.”
Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, “It is written,
‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers.”
Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.
Hymn: In God Alone (Taize)
In God alone my soul can find rest and peace
In God, my peace and joy
Only in God my soul can find its rest
Find its rest and peace
Meditation: Walking with Tears (Sylvia Keesmaat)
Was he surprised
when he found the tears
welling up in his eyes?
With the acclamations of the crowd
still ringing in his ears,
rejoicing at his presence,
was he surprised as he drew near to the city,
to find that he was weeping?
Throughout the biblical story
God’s overwhelming response
Tears are God’s default.
Judgement is never found
outside of the embrace of grief
in the heart of God.
So maybe Jesus was not surprised
to feel the tears running down his face,
as he walked into a future
that would certainly hold untold suffering,
and maybe, he hoped, new life.
Maybe Jesus was not surprised
to discover that grief
would be his burden
as he walked to the cross.
Maybe such grief
should not surprise us either,
as we watch the slow disintegration
of our usual cultural
and social structures.
For we too
are walking into a different future
that will certainly hold untold suffering
for so many,
and maybe, we hope, new life,
but in a shape we can’t even imagine.
When the tears well up,
we enter into
the grief at the heart of God.
you knew there would be violence,
but still you came.
You knew there would be grief
but still you came.
You knew there would be pain
to tear the heart apart,
yet still you came.
Hold our grief
in your embrace,
that we might see through our tears,
the path that you call us to walk this week.
In Jesus’ name,
Reflection Song: Lament for the Last Days (Bruce Cockburn)
The crescent moon is rising slow
Swiftly blades in ice do grow
On the branches star-bleached snow
Waits while time is passing
Outside the door the dancer whirls
Chiming bells and shining curls
Flying footsteps in the snow
Rhyme the rhythm of ruin
Beside the wall the beggars call
“Man have mercy on us all”
The night-bound choir inside chants on
A hymn to brick and pistols
You can stumble, you can fall
Or you can make the nations crawl
But when death comes in to call
He don’t care about it
Oh, Satan take thy cup away
For I’ll not drink your wine today
I’ll reach for the chalice of light
That stands on Jesus’ table