They are having so much fun as Jesus enters Jerusalem. The mood is celebratory. Then all of a sudden, everything changes.
Last year I traveled to Montego Bay, Jamaica for a wonderful “girls trip.” When I returned home on March 9, the world had changed. My weekly, in-person classes moved online. Wearing masks became mandatory in my state. Social distancing was the new norm. Family members I could previously visit in nursing homes were now isolated; some even passed away. It was a time to mourn.
Then came a wave of national protest and unprecedented conversations about racial divisions and systemic injustice. Since then I’ve been weeping for our nation, longing for peace and longing to be still. I’ve wondered what are the things that make for peace (v. 42).
Firstly, I recognize that tears are valid. Jesus wept often. “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Is 53:3, ESV). Weeping for our cities and nation is reasonable. Letting ourselves grieve is another way we follow Jesus. And as we grieve, we see alternatives to it.
Secondly, I spend time seeking God to learn what makes for peace. I do this through prayer, daily devotionals, safe interaction with friends, and journaling. I began to journal in real-time about what was happening during the pandemic. Journaling has been my time of visitation with God.
Lastly, I remember that Jesus wept over injustice in the city. In our passage, he enters the house of prayer, now a den of thieves, and turns over tables. Justice is a crucial ingredient in making peace. Following Christ, our weeping moves us to act justly and respond to what we feel.
What are the things you have discovered that make for peace?
God, still us, help us feel deeply, and lead us to do what you desire. Amen.