Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Sorrow of Being Unaware

"As he came near and saw the city, (Jesus) 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 19:41-42)

I know of only 2 places in all Scripture that Jesus broke down and cried.  First, of course, is the famous shortest-verse-in-the-bible passage (John 11:35) - "Jesus wept."  It came after his good friend, Lazarus, died... and Jesus saw Mary (his sister) weeping, too.  The second is this passage from Luke 19.  Jesus is in his final week of life.  He's just entered the city of Jerusalem, in order to preach & teach.  He stands overlooking this great city and weeps for what could have been - had they only recognized what (WHO!) was among them.  He goes on to lament their future misfortune and then leads it all back to this cause: "Because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God" (v.48).

Wow... what an indictment - not recogniing the time of your visitation from God.  Most of us, if we found out that God would be visiting, would go out of our way to be ready & prepared.  But with Jesus walking in and among the people of Jerusalem... the city on the whole had no clue.  None.

We're in the Advent Season now... getting ready for Christmas in a few weeks.  So much about the Christmas story is "recognizing the visitation" of God - the Magi, Mary's divine conception, Joseph's angelic experience, the shepherds in the fields, etc.  It's ALL about recognizing.  (Herod couldn't and had to ask others for the signs.)

What about us?  Are we keeping our eyes open for signs of God's presence among us... or are we, by and large, clueless?  Can we "follow the stars" overhead... or will Jesus weep over our persistent unawareness?  The Good News is that it's still early in the Advent Season... and there's still time!

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