Reflections: November 6, 2020
Friday of the 21st Week after Trinity
By Mark Buetow
"I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a den of jackals. I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant." (Jeremiah 9:11)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Wow, Lord, tell us how you really feel! Yahweh has had enough of Israel's idolatry. Jerusalem is done for. The Babylonians wiped it out in 586 BC and it got flattened again in 70 AD. God doesn't want His people trusting a city. He wants them to trust in Him. In fact, the real desolation of Jerusalem isn't that the Babylonians or Romans tore it down.
The real desolation of Jerusalem, the real ruin of the city of Judah is that on a hill outside that city, all that is evil, all that is horrible, all that is sin and wickedness and deserving of punishment, all that is hellish, was heaped upon Jesus. Jerusalem's destruction was a picture of what would happen to Jesus. The enemies of God would destroy the city. They killed Christ. Sin, death, and the curse of the Law all got a hold of Him and killed Him.
That all happened so that we have something to trust in other than our crumbling cities. We try to find refuge, comfort, and solace in people, places, and things. But none of the things that we love to make into our gods can save us. All attention on the desolation of Jerusalem: the Son of God crucified for sinners.
So that you will never be desolate. So that you will never be alone. So that you will never be destroyed. The destruction and crumbling of the things around us is the Lord's way of reminding us that nothing in this world is permanent. Nothing in this world can save us. There is nothing left but the Son of God on Calvary, His salvation delivered by water, Word and Supper. Without that, everything is a crumbling desolation and wasteland. With that, with Him, with His gifts, wherever we are is full of life and joy and gladness.
Do you ever feel like the Lord has wiped out your city? Ruined your life? Let everything be wrecked? It can't be so. Not with Jesus having died and risen for you. Whatever seems horrible and destructive now is simply a reminder that your only hope is Jesus and all that He has accomplished for you by His life, death, and resurrection. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
We, where no trouble distraction can bring, Safely the anthems of Zion shall sing; While for Your grace, Lord, their voices of praise Your blessed people shall evermore raise. ("Oh, What Their Joy" LSB 675, st.3)
-Rev. Mark Buetow is the pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in McHenry, Illinois.
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