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Second Sunday of Lent – March 13, 2022

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Second Sunday of Lent – March 13, 2022

Luke 13:31-35

“Behold, your house is forsaken.”
Vs. 35

Jesus laments over Jerusalem. The high holy city of Israel and Judah has by its own actions become the death of prophets and the executioner of those who were sent to it.  Jerusalem, the city of the Temple, enjoyed the presence of Yahweh, Adonai, El Shaddai, and Elohim—all names by which the Most High God of the Israelites and the Judeans was known. Within the Temple, this Most High God sat on his mercy seat in the Temple’s Holiest of Holies. The glory of his presence, the “Shekinah,” filled the chamber and emanated outward to bless the city. Even as Jews extolled the city and wrote psalms of praise to it, its institutions turned aside God’s gathering (vs. 34) and put to death the messengers God sent to it. Jesus laments over Jerusalem because it cannot help itself: it will be the death of him.

Jesus does not stop with lament. He continues to bring a prophetic judgment upon this city which holds the heights of Jewish religious piety… which holds the might of the occupying Roman military… which holds the site of the governing powers… Jerusalem, home to the religious, military, and political institutions of the day, had become corrupt… corrupted by sin… corrupted by the need for self-preservation that resides in all sinners and their institutions. Jesus announces a prophetic judgment upon all this sin… upon all these sinners… upon all their sinful institutions… upon this city, killer of prophets and executioner of messengers. The judgment?  “Behold, your house is forsaken!” The Lord’s Shekinah, the glory of his presence, will depart from the city.

The Shekinah “brooded” over the people and their activities in the same way that the Spirit of God “brooded” over the waters of chaos at the very beginning (Ge. 1:2). The Shekinah protected the people and blessed them in a manner like the hen’s wings stood over her brood of chicks. The people had heard words similar to Jesus’ prophetic judgment before: Jeremiah had pronounced it, too. “If you will not heed these words, I swear by myself, says the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation.…” (Jer. 22:5-6).  Liturgically, the Shekinah, otherwise hidden behind the masks of creation, cross, and faith, is seen… is received at the pulpit, the font, and the altar—where our Lord is clothed in his Word and Sacrament… where we sing together, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”

Table Talk: Discuss why sinners need a hidden Shekinah.
Pray: Father, grant me to heed your Word and enjoy your presence. Amen

Table Talk

Luke 13:31-35

31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you. 32 And he said to them, Go and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. 33 Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem. 34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! 35 Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

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