Weekly Church Service – Lent two: 17th of March – 2019

Our citizenship is in heaven, and is from there that we are expecting a saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20

God of our ancestors,
whose chosen servant Abraham was given faith to obey your call and go out into the unknown;
endow your church with such faith that we may follow you with courage for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever, Amen.

Genesis 15:1 – 12, 17 – 18
Psalm 27
Philippians 3:17 – 4:1
Luke 13:31 – 36

next week
Isaiah 58:1 – 9
Psalm 63 1 – 9
1 Corinthians 10:1 – 13
Luke Knight 13:1 – 9

Lent 2 – Luke 13:31 – 35

“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 as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”

The Pharisees warned Jesus that Herod seeks to kill him – given the growing tension between Jesus and the Pharisees, their warning is more probable an attempt to frighten Jesus away then concern for his safety. Jesus stands his ground in the face of that threat, in obedience to the Father, his work of reconciliation and healing will not only continue but will triumph even over death. In this scene, Luke sets the stage for Jesus final confrontation with the Jewish leadership.

The final verses of today’s gospel are Luke’s record of Jesus lament over the city of Jerusalem, the holy city has failed to realise its destiny as God’s “city of peace.” Jesus sees himself as the last in the line of prophets who will meet his end in Jerusalem, but his death will be the birth of a new Jerusalem (and new “house”) where God will gather his faithful people.

As Jesus confronts the city of Jerusalem with its it self-absorption and lack of faith, this season of Lent calls us to realise our failings and to live the faith that we profess, to cross the chasm that often exists between what we say we believe and how we actually live those convictions.

In our own Jerusalems, we often try to destroy what we fear or do not understand, like Herod, we dismiss or discredit anything that threatens our own comfortable view of the world, we discourage or frustrate any change that will upset our own safe little world. Christ instills in us a vision much greater than ourselves, a spirit of servant hood that embraces all men and woman as brothers and sisters, a sense of justice and hope that seeks reconciliation, forgiveness and compassion above all else. © connections/media Works

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