Daily Worship

The things that make for peace

November 10, 2017 0 2
Image credit: Pixabay

Luke 19: 37-44

37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’

‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’

40 ‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.’

41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognise the time of God’s coming to you.’

Studdart Kennedy was the wartime padre and poet better known as Woodbine Willie; of war, he writes:

“Waste of muscle, waste of brain

Waste of patience, waste of pain

Waste of manhood, waste of health

Waste of beauty, waste of wealth

Waste of blood and waste of tears

Waste of youth's most precious years

Waste of ways the Saints have trod

Waste of glory

Waste of God, War!”

So on the eve of remembrance day I have chosen the Palm Sunday story of our Lord pouring his tears over the city of Jerusalem.

“He wept over the city, saying, “…would that even today you knew the things that make for peace” (from verses 41 to 42 with v42 segment from RSV translation).

And when I read that verse I can think of no other verse in scripture which has the power to penetrate the centuries and still mean today; exactly what it meant when Jesus said it, and wept.

And I can only think of our Lord casting an eye over the war torn ruins of the world. Standing at some vantage point overlooking Kabul, Mosel, Juba, Raqqa or Jerusalem itself and he would weep and he would say again: “…would that even today you knew the things that make for peace”. 

Within days of his peaceful arrival in Jerusalem, Jesus was facing every conceivable force inviting him and his followers to reaction and uprising, but he was resolved - even if the road was one of humiliation and sacrifice - his way remained the way of peace and non-violence.


Eternal God, sovereign over all the nations we pray that you would teach us the things that make for peace. Make us respectful in our conversations. Teach us how to make our views known without denigrating others, help us to stick to principles and teach us to align our principles with him who walked amongst us as the prince of peace, even Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.