We may enjoy laughing at and with characters in a comedy, but there seems to be more substance to the lessons we learn from tragedies. Some of the world’s most deeply affecting music and literature centres on the tragic loss of deeply loved people and places. Jerusalem was such a place-destroyed first by the Babylonians and later by the Romans. Prophets, poets and Jesus himself (Luke 13:34) have lamented over Jerusalem.
Have you ever noticed how our opinion of a person can be transformed by death? Eulogies tend to gloss over a deceased person’s flaws and focus instead on accomplishments, good deeds and what the person’s absence will mean to those left behind. It is not uncommon for mourners to find themselves regretting words left unspoken and visits never paid to the recently departed.
And so it was with the people of Jerusalem. In exile, they remembered their city’s former, and perhaps greatly embellished, beauty, regretted the behaviour that led to its downfall, and longed for the day when they would be able to return and rebuild it. It’s a story of a lost paradise and our continual yearning for a restored relationship with God.
Lord, thank you for forgiving us over and over again. Amen. — CKA