Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’
- Luke 13:34-35
As Pastor Kristy Hinds said in the message yesterday, this is “the sad Jesus passage” - full of grief and what sounds like bargaining with God. What a great reminder that Jesus himself experienced sadness and grief, longing and loss, frailty and a sense of failure. He wanted the people of Jerusalem to experience true life but they just were not open to it, and he experienced it as a failure that things didn’t turn out the way he wanted them to.
This should give us real pause. Perhaps knowing Jesus isn’t just trusting that he’s got all things figured out and under control. Perhaps it includes learning how to grieve like him, learning how to name the circumstances we experience as failure, and wading chest-high into the sadness of unrealized dreams. Too often these are all the very things we run from. And, ironically, we often run to a sanitized version of Jesus to help protect us from these ‘negative’ emotions (one old saint calls this “using God to hide from God”). But Jesus didn’t run from them at all - he ran to them. He felt the pain. He lived into the loss. He faced the failures.
Ask Jesus today how you are running from grief, sorrow, loss, pain, failure and hardship. Invite him to teach you how not to run, but to embrace these things.