Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday in Pentectost 9: Lament for a city

Opening Sentence
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in you sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Commemoration: Benedict
Almighty and everlasting God, whose precepts are the wisdom of a loving Father: Give us grace, following the teaching and example of your servant Benedict, to walk with loving and willing hearts in the school of the Lord's service; let your ears be open to our prayers; and prosper with your blessing the work of our hands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 119:1-24

Lessons: Deuteronomy 1:1-18Romans 9:1-18Matthew 23:27-39

Jesus wept when he saw Jerusalem drawing near. Rejection and death awaited him there, but that was not the reason for his sorrow. He would be vindicated through his resurrection, but Jerusalem would pay a heavy price for rejecting its promised Messiah. 

"See, your house is left to you desolate," Jesus lamented. "For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

It was a bleak assessment for the city David had chosen as his capital generations before. Jerusalem was no stranger to desolation, to be sure. It had been torn down and rebuilt before. This time, however, the devastation would be more severe because the sin and apostasy were far worse. The hope which eventually brought the exiles home from Babylon was the hope of a Deliverer who would finally and forever restore the fortunes of Zion. Now that Deliverer had come, but the city that was supposed to herald his arrival was about to commit the ultimate act of apostasy in rejecting him. It was not his own fate, but the fate of Jerusalem, which caused Jesus, even as the crowds still cheered him, to weep.


Sing to the King