Invitation to Prayer
No one longs for what he or she already has, and yet the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggests that the reason so many of us cannot see the red ‘x’ that marks the spot is because we are standing on it. The treasure we seek requires no lengthy expedition, no expensive equipment, no superior aptitude or special company. All we lack is the willingness to imagine that we already have everything we need. The only thing missing is our consent to be where we are. (Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World, xv).
The Psalm (Psalm 145:8-13)
The LORD is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
9 The LORD is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All you have made will praise you, O LORD;
your saints will extol you.
11 They will tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
12 so that all men may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The LORD is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made.
The Scripture Reading (Luke 23: 27-31)
A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, 'Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!' Then " 'they will say to the mountains, "Fall on us!" and to the hills, "Cover us!" 'For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?"
There is always more going on than we realize; there is more happening than our minds can take in. The weeping women saw the bloodied figure of Jesus struggling under the weight of his cross, staggering to his death. Such a sight was certainly a reason for weeping. But the weeping was misguided. Jesus doesn’t rebuke the women’s tears. He rebukes the lack of insight into what all of this means. A day of judgment is coming. Stop crying now and get ready for what is yet to take place.
Why don’t we weep over our sin and take seriously the Day of Judgment? Will such a thing actually happen?
Lord Jesus, your death on the cross was not meant to evoke our sadness, but our repentance. Break our hearts over the sin we see in the world and the sin we find in our own lives. Cause us to weep not only over your suffering and death, but over the refusal of many to turn to you for salvation. Amen.