Jerusalem means “city of peace”? I guess we never got that memo.

It is the second week of Lent, year C and the lectionary takes us  to Luke 13:31-35. It is here that Jesus laments:

34 O 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, but you were not willing! 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate.

Jerusalem translated from Hebrew literally means “city of peace.” And there is an even deeper meaning than that.

Anyway, someone did not get the memo.

Here, in this second week of Lent, Jesus and his movement are on a collision force with the powers that reside in Jerusalem.  We know how it ends. And then begins.  In the 1st century or 21st century, no one could consider Jerusalem a city of peace.

Social prophets in the Old Testament Hebrew Bible  also had much to say about their cultural, economic, religious, and politcal capital.

Hear this, you rulers of the house of Jacob and chiefs of the house of Israel, who abhor justice and pervert all equity, who build Zion with blood and Jerusalem with wrong!  Its rulers give judgment for a bribe, its priests teach for a price, its prophets give oracles for money; yet they lean upon the Lord and say, “surely the Lord is with us! No harm shall come upon us here  because of you Zion shall be  plowed as field, Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins (Micah 3:9-12)

And here is Isaiah:

How the faithful city has become a whore! She that was full of justice, righteousness lodged in her–but now murderers! Your silver has become dross, your wine is mixed with water.  Your princes are rebels and companions are thieves.  Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts, but they do not defend the orphan and the widow’s cause does not come before them.  (Isaiah 1: 21-23.)

As for the second Sunday of Lent, 2010?  Isaiah had it right a few verses later, “Zion shall be redeemed by justice, and those in her who repent, by righteousness.  (1:28)

More to come.

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One thought on “Jerusalem means “city of peace”? I guess we never got that memo.

  1. I’ve been to Jerusalem 3 times and there is no place on earth like it and going back a 4th time just to give Jesus some praise from the Mt. of Olives

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