Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 5: Year 1
Morning, Psalm 69; Evening, Psalm 73;
Ecclesiasticus 45:6 to 16; 2nd Corinthians 12:11 to 21; Luke 19:41 to 48:
“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:” (Luke 19: 41 and 42).
We have a slightly different take on Jesus’ emotions from the Gospel of Matthew as he assessed Jerusalem; He says, “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!” (Matthew 23: 37)
But even from our Luke version we learn that it is not so much the place, (Jerusalem), but the recognition of the events that make for peace. I borrow from Abraham Joshua Heschel in his book “Sabbath,” where he writes, “The Bible is more concerned with time than with space. It sees the world in the dimension of time. It pays more attention to generations, to events, than to countries, to things; it is more concerned with history than with geography:” (pages 6 and 7).
In February of 2018 I visited Israel for 10 days. Our tour started in the Galilee area of Israel and concluded with Jerusalem. I, personally, was more impressed with the events of Jesus’ baptism, healings, sermon of the Mount, changing water into wine, walking on the water, Transfiguration, the feeding of the multitude with only a few fish and loaves, his discussions with Pharisees and the woman at the well, and many other events that Jesus did in Galilee, rather than the what we did to him in Jerusalem; that is, killing him. The whole earth is the holy land because God made the whole earth.
For me, in the Bible and in our lives today, first and foremost is the “What;” then, the “why.” Of course then there is the “Who.” And, lastly, the “where,” becomes obvious.
I have found that this formula works today. If we first ask what needs to be done, and then why it needs to be done, and then who should do it, we are well on our way to resolution. The “where” will become obvious but in the end, it makes no difference. Resolution happens where the problem is, whether its voter suppression, cyber attracts, a viral outbreak, or whatever. We must ask what the problem is, why we need to resolve it, and who should lead the work with God’s help. But first, let us remember our sacred time given to us by God.
For this evening and tomorrow day my friends; Shabbat Shalom.
Let us live in order that we might love, rather than just live to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John