Baptised in agony or drowning in ennui?

Quite often while I read the Bible, I tend to wish I could step into a certain incident to see it unfold, hear the words spoken and live the moment on my own. Sometimes, though, I prefer the contrary.

Have you ever read an article in the news or heard a recollection from someone and thought to yourself, “I’m so glad I wasn’t there”? I have a similar reaction to a certain passage in the bible that I prefer reading with my own voice than hear Jesus utter with perhaps a quiver in his lips and lachrymose voice. It breaks my heart to even imagine it.

Matthew 23:37
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!

Want to try it? Read it again. Hear His voice break, feel His heart ache, watch His eyes tear up and His knees go weak as He sits, looks out over this city and struggles as He speaks in a sort of wail or lament,

Jerusalem… O, Jerusalem.
You who kill the prophets…
And stone those who are sent to you.
Jerusalem…
How often I have longed to gather your children together
As a hen gathers her chicks under her wings..
But you were not willing.
Look, your house is left to you desolate
And you won’t see Me again until you say
Baruch ha-ba b’shem Adonai!
(Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord)

Would you read it one more time? This time, read it with your own voice and instead of Jerusalem, name the city or state or country that you live in. Does your heart yearn for it as Christ’s did for Jerusalem? What about your voice? Do you get choked up as you pray and lament over the people you see day to day? Can you turn your back so easily on those rejecting you or does your love for them clench a grip on your heart as Christ loved those wanting to kill and stone Him? As you make your petition for them, is it offhanded and drowned in ennui or does it baptise you in an agony and sorrow to see them saved too?

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