Today I’m not going to talk about the famous passage about Jesus saying, “who among you is without sin cast the first stone.” Instead consider Luke 13:31-35. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it.
At first glance, you may ask what does this passage have to do with my life? Why should I devote a meditation to an ancient city and its inhabitants? That’s the beauty of the gospels. Sometimes the words sneak up on you. You may read a passage over and over and think this is “filler,” and go somewhere else for the substance such as going to the story of stoning the prostitute. But then someone says something and you realize its relevance.
Suzy may remind me that I need to lose weight, or an editor may suggest a paragraph needs to be rewritten, or my doctor may something about a change in lifestyle, and I find myself getting irritated. Someone tells me something I don’t want to hear or means I have additional work to do and I want to “kill the messenger.” Or, even more irritating, I hear something that forces me to recognize a dark part of myself, a closet that needs cleaning.
So I identify with “Jerusalem” when I am called to repent or change the direction of my life. I like to think I living the way I am supposed to, and my problems are not my doing or beyond my control. So when the minor prophets in my life call me to be the person God intended, I have to work hard not to chase them with verbal stones, but to open up my ears and heart.