top of page

2 Lent {Scout Sunday} - Luke 13:31-35

When offered evacuation assistance two weeks ago, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky now famously replied, "The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride."

He might just be brave enough to be a scout.

A comparable scene is unfolding in the gospel.

Herod has a target on Jesus' head, and some Pharisees—yes, those Pharisees, who so often spar with Jesus—warn him to escape.

But Jesus refuses to let Herod's threats hijack his agenda.

He will die in Jerusalem, not Galilee, just like so many prophets before him.

And then Jesus takes a second brave step.

He cries.

Faced with immediate danger, animal and human instinct is to choose one of three options: fight, flight, or freeze.

President Zelensky, offered flight to safety, chose to stay and fight.

Jesus chooses none of these.

He doesn't freeze, or run away, or fight back.

He leans into the situation with lament.

He knows the political situation: Rome will storm Jerusalem and be ruthless in its devastation.

Perhaps if Rome butchers only him, and others see and carry forward his way of love to short-circuit the cycle of violence, Jerusalem's children can survive and live in peace.

But Jerusalem will not heed his holy maternal instincts.

The people panic and run off in every other direction, like chickens with their hen cut off.

They cozy up to Rome, or try to beat it at its own mastered games of violence and power politics, or escape to the hills, or live in denial, or some other version of attacking, avoiding, or becoming the danger.

Jerusalem won't trust Jesus' impulse to disarm the enemy with truth and healing love.

They won't settle under the protective wings of God's greater and gentler power.

The fear is too fevered, the paranoia and panic too high.

So Jesus pauses to cry.

Paul shares his sad song.