(Reflections from Music and Worship Leaders’ Retreat, part II)

This morning, we read from Luke 13, the scripture for the second Sunday in Lent. Following a warning from the pharisees that Herod is out to kill him, Jesus laments for Jerusalem, renaming it from “city of peace” to “city that kills”. He wishes that he might have gathered Jerusalem in, but instead he lets it go: “See your house is left to you.” These are particular sobering words to some of the first readers of Luke, who would have been reflecting on the words in light of the destruction of Jerusalem.

At the end of the story, however, Jesus utters words that are ultimately hopeful: “You will not see me again until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.'”

Brian McLaren asked two questions that might be hopeful for my congregation:

What is the worst outcome [in our current conflict]?

What blessing, what hope can we utter at the end?