***2019 Motto = Abide & Abound ***
“As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it…” Luke 19:41
Luke shares with us a poignant moment in Jesus’ ministry. It is a moment that is seldom recorded in the gospels—Jesus weeping. In fact, the other two times the Bible records Jesus weeping was when he reached the tomb of his friend Lazarus (John 11:35) and when Jesus cried out to his heavenly Father from the cross (Matthew 27:46). These are tender moments of vulnerability and deep emotion. These tears demonstrate the fullness of Jesus’ humanity and his solidarity with our sorrowful human condition. In Luke chapter 19 Jesus has just made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem and as he views this great city from a distance he began to weep. Luke 19:41-48 gives us the reason for Jesus’ tears. He wept over the spiritual blindness of the people (v. 42, 44b); he wept because the city would one day be ransacked by foreign enemies and the temple destroyed (v. 43-44); he wept because they had perverted the house of God (v.45-46); and he wept because the religious leaders were so spiritually bankrupt that they plotted his death (v. 47).
I wonder if Jesus looked at our community, what would give him reason to weep? Can we weep along with Jesus because of a broken heart over sin and suffering? The children in our elementary schools who go home to little or no food; the senior adults in our nursing homes that never get a visit from family; the illegal drugs that are sold in the shadows of our streets; the women who flee to S.A.F.E. as a refuge from domestic abuse; the men in our prisons who have no hope; the marriages and families that are broken; the bullying that takes place in our schools; the hungry and homeless who seek shelter at the Beacon Rescue Mission or a hot meal through Ladles of Love—surely all of these things, and many more, grieve the heart of God! We have reason to weep because of the spiritual blindness and utter brokenness of our community and society.
Yet we read in Luke 19 that Jesus did more than weep. He went into the city—to speak difficult truths and confront hard situations. He declared in the temple, “My house shall be a house of pray-er!” (v. 46). He also began to teach the truth of God in the temple daily (v. 47). Jesus confronted the things that were wrongs with Jerusalem and invested in the lives of the people. If we are going to live like Jesus, it requires that our hearts be broken for our community. We must be moved by the Holy Spirit to take bold action to correct the wrongs and courageously invest in that which is right and true. Sadly, the local church has become increasingly isolated and insulated from their community. This divine detachment leads to a great divide between the sanctuary and the streets. Is it any wonder that our churches are struggling with decline?
Where there is no vision for reaching the community, there can be no victory for Christ. Where there is no concern for the lost, there will be no compassion for people. Where there is no love for the lost, there will be no laboring for the gospel! In light of this reality, we have planned a prayer and worship rally on Sunday May 5th at 6pm in the Depot Square. We believe that the love of Jesus compels us to go into the very heart of our community with the hope of Christ! You are invited to come, bring a lawn chair or blanket. You are encouraged to bring friends, neighbors, family members who are not saved. We will sing, we will pray, and we will hear testimonies. God will be glorified in the heart of our city on May 5th as we seek to win back our community for the Kingdom of God! Like Jesus, are you moved to weep for the city? If you are, then you also have the divine responsibility to work for the good of the city! Let’s shine the light of Jesus bright and bold on Sunday May 5th, 6pm at the Depot Square!