Some Pharisees came and said to Jesus, "Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you." He said to them, "Go and tell that fox for me, 'Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.' Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, 'Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.'" Luke 13:31-35
When I was in high school I had to be in a full length leg cast. My Mom got me overalls to wear so I could be comfortable. The school superintendent took exception to my clothing and called me into his office. He didn't think I was dressed appropriately. He called my mother in who took him to task and made him write a note of apology. What he saw as disrespectful was anything but and my mother took him on. We do that for those we love, we rise to the occasion and will stand between those we love and those who are trying to do them harm.
Jesus aches for love of Jerusalem, the holiest of cities, always in turmoil. He aches to gather and protect them all. He aches to gather and protect us all. God loves us so much that, despite our in-fighting and crankiness, our stubborn and rigid behavior, Christ is willing to stand between all threats and us. Christ desires our healing and transformation not our punishment.
Today I ask God to help me accept the love God has for me in its fullness. May I never be ashamed to call upon the Lord and may I always be ready to be sheltered and hidden from the turmoil. May we be people who know the true source of love in Christ and run to the shelter of God's loving embrace.
O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.