How often have I longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34
In the year 1014, Emperor Basil II of Constantinople wanted to have peace. He decided it was time to end a war that had been raging for 40 years. In the interest of getting peace, Basil brought together all 15,000 of the Bulgarian prisoners he held captive. Then Basil blinded all 15,000. Well, that’s not accurate; he spared 150 of them. Those he only blinded in one eye. That was so those 150 could lead the others home to the Bulgarian capital of Ohrid. When Bulgaria's ruler, a man by the name of Samuel, heard his army was coming home he rushed out in gladness to greet them. Confronted by thousands of sightless soldiers, Samuel suffered a stroke and died two days later.
A terrible story? Indeed! But it is a story that has been repeated again and again throughout humankind’s history. The world says it wants peace; people, leaders, and nations all cry out for peace; but peace never seems to come. Hatred and human horrors seem to be just as commonplace today as they were in centuries past. A quick look at our neighbors, our family members, our co-workers, shows us that peace, as least as the world defines it, is somehow always out of reach.
Which is precisely why we would do well to look to God, and not humankind, if we would find peace for this world and the next. So that we might have peace, Jesus was born. His desire to provide peace is what caused Him to seek out the lost and the lonely, the sick and the sinner, the possessed and those who were in pain. To all of them He said, "Come to Me. Forgiveness and peace is here for all who believe." Little wonder that when the people of ancient Jerusalem turned down His offer of peace, tears flowed from the Lord’s loving eyes. He knew, as we should, that without Him and His blood-bought forgiveness, peace would always be impossible.
I imagine He still cries for those who continue to search in vain for the peace of God, which passes human understanding. Is it possible that Jesus may be crying for you? You may not have noticed because your own eyes are clouded with the tears that come from a soul which cannot rest, a heart that is always troubled. If so, believe in Jesus. Let Him wipe away your tears and give you His wonderful peace.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on March 7, 2004
THE PRAYER: Dear God, give my soul and heart the rest that can only come from You. Thank you for wiping away my tears. Help me share Your peace with others. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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