Archive for October 7th, 2008

Weep for All Who Suffer

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Today’s scripture: Luke 23:26-31 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Keith Phillips):

The travesty of a trial is over. Pontius Pilate caves in to the demands of the crowd which have gathered. “He handed Jesus over as they wished.” (Luke 23:25)

Now traversing the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows, through the city of Jerusalem, on his way outside the city walls to the place of execution, Jesus encounters some women, the first persons, and practically the only persons, to express sympathy toward him and his plight.

What a blessing the feminine heart is! Reaching out to nurture the lowly, to care for the suffering, to be there for the one in pain, to mourn a pending death. It‘s in sharp contrast to what‘s usually considered a completely male assemblage at the trial. (I can say this, although one of my favorite scenes in Monty Python’s Life of Brian depicts Israelite women donning false beards in order to participate in a ritual stoning.)

The interesting thing is how Jesus responds to these expressions of sympathy, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” Typically, the commentators say that Jesus is prophesying about the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans thirty years later, a time of incredible destruction and devastation for the people of Israel. And maybe he is.

But maybe there’s something more here. I sense that Jesus’ words are, in a special way, for LGBTQ Christians. Male and female, we are all daughters of Jerusalem when watching Jesus on the way to crucifixion. We recognize the injustice he endured and our hearts are extended to him, and those hearts break with pain and grief.

But he turns to me, he turns to us, saying, “Weep for yourselves, you sufferers of injustice. Know that I know what you go through when you are slandered, when you are reviled, when you are undeservedly mistreated. Weep for yourselves and for your children, for all who know the pain of the biting word, the name-calling, the rejection, the physical abuse simply for living out who you are. Weep for yourselves, and know that I am with you.”

Thought for the day: When I remember Jesus suffering, may I also remember all who suffer unjustly.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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