For the sake of the house of the Lord our God…

Readings: Psalm 122; Genesis 6:11-22; Matthew 24:1-22

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem…

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers.”

For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, “Peace be within you.” For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.  [Psalm 122:1-2, 6-9, NRSV]

Jerusalem hasn’t been a city of peace for much of its history. Even now, it sees more than its share of violence – some of it religiously motivated. It is a sacred city to all the Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Each of these faiths is a close relative of the others, but followers of those faiths have attacked one another in the name of the God they all share.

This psalm gets me to wondering: what would happen if everyone whose faith claimed Jerusalem wished each other well? What would the world be like if, for the sake of the house of the Lord our God, we sought the good for all of Abraham’s children?

Can we have enough trust in God to bless Jerusalem’s children of other faiths? Can we say to everyone, peace be within your walls?Human frailty may prevent us from offering such a radical blessing on our own behalf, but perhaps, just perhaps, for the sake of the house of the Lord our God, we might find the strength to attempt it.

Lord Jesus, come to my home. Amen.

[Rowhouse by Colin Fredrickson]

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I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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