April 10th Lenten Devotional


Julie King

Luke 19:41-48

 “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace!”

The city of Jerusalem is one of the most fought-over bits of geography on the planet. Jews, Christians and Muslims all revere it as one of the most holy places on earth. Throughout its history, the city has been bought, sold, fought over, conquered, resettled, conquered again, rebuilt, conquered again, etc. Which makes the meaning of the name “Jerusalem” as the City of Peace all the more ironic.

Sometimes, when all you do is fight, it’s hard to recognize peace, even when it’s right in front of you.

We live in a world fiercely divided—by politics, economics, education, sports teams, for crying out loud! We fight and bicker and post/repost insulting messages and “unfriend” people who see the world differently than we do. It makes me wonder: can we recognize the things that make for peace?

Luke’s gospel makes clear that Jesus had priorities in his ministry, most significantly ministry to the poor. He also prioritized those who were held captive in some way—physical (the lame, the blind, the sick), political (the imprisoned or condemned), demonic possession, or by sin.

On this day, as Jesus entered Jerusalem, people recognized him and cheered for him. But they didn’t recognize what he stood for, what he prioritized. And Jesus saw that they never would, not until it was too late. Jesus wept for a city of peace that was unjust and unsustainable.

Does Jesus weep for us?

Lord Jesus, help us to bring your peace to the corners of the world where we have influence. Help us make your priorities our priorities, so that in the kingdom of God, we may see true peace. Amen.

Rev. Julie King is pastor of Macon Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church in Brookfield, both in Northern Missouri.

©2017 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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