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Thursday, February 18, 2016

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The thought of Jerusalem and its stubborn history sends Jesus into something like a melancholic reverie. Rather than a beacon of light to the nations, this walled city, consumed by fear for its security, is its own worst enemy. Using a compelling image, Jesus contrasts a Jerusalem that has killed the ones who were sent to call it to account with the sheltering wings of a mother hen and the trusting chicks that know to seek protection there. A case could be made that this is one of the saddest passages in the Bible because it speaks to a peace and security that might have been, but does not yet exist. No wonder the last book of the Bible holds out the vision of a New Jerusalem where we will be truly God's people at last.

Loving God, you call us to shelter under your wings, but we resist. As the days and years pass, help us to rely less on the security we try to create, and more on the security you provide. Amen.

Bruce Eldevik
Reference and Special Collections, Luther Seminary Library
Master of Arts , 1989

Luke 13:31-35 (NRSV)

31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, "Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you."
32 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.
33 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.'
34 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!
35 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.' "

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.