Jesus wept. Luke 19:28-40
Prayer: Gracious God, “Your word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.” Teach us we pray in the name of Jesus.
On a borrowed donkey Jesus rode into the centre of the city of Jerusalem that eventually rejected him. It was on the day of the parade and thousands of people gathered in Jerusalem for the feast of the “Passover.” It was an exciting and busy time in the city socially, politically, religiously and economically.
We love parades too but the Covid-19 pandemic restricted our celebrations. However, after lifting the restrictions one can imagine the burst of energy that ignites people. Everywhere, in all spheres of life, people want to celebrate. People want to celebrate their favourite sport such the Raptors Basketball, Maple Leafs, Blue Jays, FIFA Cup or cricket games as we move into warmer days.
Parades of any nature and sports events trigger sounds. We hear sounds of laughter, shouts, drums, flutes, whistles, orchestras, and much more. All these sounds stir feelings of joy, excitement, and happiness. Some people want to be in the crowd with energy that is exploding. We learn to do so with safety and caution through this pandemic.
Have you ever noticed that when listening to sounds that some are loud, noisy, contemplative, meditative, relaxing, joyful, solemn, soothing, sad or weary?
This exercise of listening to sounds involves looking carefully at Human ears. We will notice their differences in size, shape and the way the ear is attached to the head. We may notice that some ears are large or small, some protrude and some lie flat against the head. You will note that some ears have glasses hooked across them, some have hearing aids in them, some are pierced, others have ornaments hanging from them and most recently ears are important for hooking on Covid-19 masks.
However, the function of the human ear is hearing. This is what makes it such a remarkable organ. It takes sound waves from the air which causes the inner ear, the cochlea, to receive vibrations, like our cellphones. These messages are transmitted to the brain then the response is made. This process of the human anatomy is more complex and fascinating but the ear not only hears sounds. It gives us balance.
In my childhood days we listened to the radio. I recalled a cricket event between England and the West Indies team. I remembered a line from one of the commentaries that said: “And Clive Lloyd strikes and that one went like a rocket to the moon.” Hearing these words portrayed a powerful image of an exciting game. The talents and strength of this player ignited the energy for the team and crowd.
Imagine the explosion of sounds and images as Jesus rides in the city on Palm Sunday. The shouts, waving palm branches, the city bells ringing and the placards of “Blessed is the King.” “Hosanna, Hosanna!”
The Passion of Jesus in the four Gospel is devoted to the last week in the earthly life of Jesus. The Passion tells of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper, the arrest, trials, and crucifixion. Watching the drama of this event could make us spectators. Luke invites us to use the ears for hearing the sound of Jesus weeping. Are you listening?
Do you hear someone weeping? How does it make you feel when you hear someone crying? Have you ever walked down a hospital corridor when a family has just been told that a loved one has died? Even though these are strangers to you, the sound of their weeping penetrates your soul deeply. I have with family and strangers.
Have you ever heard the moans in a courtroom when a verdict is announced and a sentence passed? Do you recall listening to a newscast when the media covered the funeral of a marginalized person and hear the groans and weeping of the grieving parents? Have you been with family member in the doctor’s room after their prognosis of cancer, Alzheimer’s or other illness?
Does a child's cry at night ever catch your ear? How about listening to a friend's sobbing out some poor choices that torn your heart? These are sounds of weeping, and most of us know something about the sound of weeping. You have witnessed death, brokenness, grief, financial loss and other circumstances in life. You know the sound of a weeping heart, and soul.
Have you ever listened to the sound of Jesus' weeping?
St Paul reminded the church in Philippi of God’s unconditional love for all people. Jesus emptied himself in obedience to God’s will for the saving of the world. Jesus is weeping for the brokenness of the world, death, destruction, war, violence, systems of injustice, and those seeking refuge. Jesus weeps and hearts are breaking when we hold on to resentment, bitterness, anger, prejudice, pride, and selfishness.
Jesus wept over Jerusalem and is weeping with us too. (John 11:35) His weeping then was not difficult to understand. Jesus was standing beside the grave of his friend, Lazarus, sharing the bereavement of his sisters, Mary and Martha. Jesus was moved to tears as his humanity is revealed to the world.
I invite you to hear the sound of Jesus weeping and make the response with compassion and love. Jesus said: “If we keep silent, the stones would cry out.” Lift your voices and shout: “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven!” Jesus tears are tears of love for you, me and the world. Amen