Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 26: Year 2
“At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, ‘Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.’ He 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. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed away from Jerusalem.” 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: 31 to 34)
I was blessed to be able to go on a Christian pilgrimage to the Holy Land in February of 2018. I am thankful to God for that opportunity. Before going I prayed to God to let me be open to accept and receive whatever God saw fit to bless me with. And God answered me with truth. My trip began in Northern Israel (Galilee), and then ended in the city of Jerusalem in the south.
The two landscapes are totally different. Galilee to the north, has fertile fields and little hills, and is the span of land that our Lord Jesus conducted his three year ministry of teaching, preaching and healing. I was so impressed with Capernaum, Nazareth, Cana, Mount Tabor, and Lake Galilee that I use my picture from Lake Galilee of the shoreline of this land as the heading of my daily blog.
We ended our trip down in Jerusalem. To get there we went down to Jericho and then the long ride by bus up to the top of a mountain of sand some 2474 feet above sea level. It must have been a real task to get water up there 2000 years ago. Much praise and worshipful attention has been centered on Jerusalem. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all claim a religious heritage to the place. I went to, and visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Given all of its splendor, I was not that impressed. Then I remembered that I prayed to God to show me what God wanted me to see.
I also recalled that our Lord Jesus, of his own free will and accord, chose the land of Galilee to bring the good news of the kingdom of heaven. And when he was raised from the dead, he told his followers to again meet him in Galilee from which he gave the Great Commission (Matthew 28). If I was again blessed to go to Israel, I would only go to Galilee and again take in as much as I can.
To Jerusalem Jesus said, “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.” If you ask God for something in serious prayer, please understand, God’s response to you is not guided by what humanity values. Pray and see.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John