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The Faces Of Christ

And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, “Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation.” And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers.” And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people sought to destroy him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people hung upon his words.
(St. Luke 19:41-48)

In the Scripture cited above we are told how Christ as He approached Jerusalem on Palm Sunday wept over the city. The next day the Lord returned and cleansed the Temple. In this story we see, what might be considered, various faces of our Lord.

First, we see a face with weeping eyes. Why did Jesus weep over Jerusalem? He wept because of what He saw approaching in the future.

In the Spring of A. D. 66, approximately 37 years after Christ’s death and resurrection, the Jews revolted against Rome. The Roman general Vespasian along with his son Titus led the campaign to crush the rebellion. In April of A.D. 70, just after Passover, Titus laid siege to Jerusalem. That siege continued for five months not ending until August. The famine within the city became so severe that incidents of cannibalism were reported. In order to break the will of the people the Roman general Titus crucified 500 prisoners a day within sight of the defenders on the city walls.When the Romans finally breached the wall the slaughter was horrible. The Jewish historian Josephus reported that, “The ground was nowhere visible. All was covered with corpses; over these heaps the soldiers pursued the fugitives.” Christ wept tears of concern as He foresaw such a tragic future.

The day following His triumphal entry into Jerusalem Jesus went to the Temple. What He saw there filled Him with rage. Here we see a face with angry eyes. St. John tells us that Jesus made a whip and drove out the money changers and those who were selling animals.

What was it that outraged Jesus so? It wasn’t simply the fact that trade was taking place in the Temple, it was dishonest trade. The money changers were charging exorbitant fees to exchange currency for paying the Temple tax. Those selling sacrificial animals were also guilty of price gouging. All of this along with the fact that worship was being disrupted in the only part of the Temple where gentiles were allowed admittance. In Christ’s actions we see the justice of God.

In this incident we not only are a face with angry eyes, but also a face with loving and compassionate eyes. Not everyone fled the Temple to avoid the wrath of Christ. Some people were actually drawn to Him. “And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.” (Mt. 21:14) These people saw one who loved them and stood up for them and the right.

The question which now arises, “Which face with what eyes do we see as we look at Christ?” The answer depends on who or what we are.

Those over whom Christ wept were people oblivious to their true situation. They did not realize the peril they were in. They were rapidly approaching the precipice, but did not know it. This is also true of so many people today. Like our Lord we too should weep, for judgment approaches.

The second group of people, i.e., the money changers and sellers of animals undoubtedly knew that they were doing wrong. But they loved their ill-gotten gain. They were attached to their sins and would not give them up. Here again there are multitudes today who fall into this group.

The third group knew well their condition. They were lame, and blind and in desperate need. Such people were automatically drawn to Christ for they saw in His eyes divine love and grace. They recognized in Jesus the only one who could heal them. May all of us see the Lord as they saw Him.

by F.M.Levi

Happy Birthday!

March 1 - Dale Muir
March 3 - Holly Ardizzone
March 5 - Ian Christenson
March 8 - Myrtle Haas
March 12 - Amy Christenson

Missionary of The Month

Rev. & Mrs. Mark Rudolph (Lynn) Jared, Isaac, Aaron, Nathan, Shawn. Bonn, GERMANY.

Domestic Missions

Please pray for the Rev. Dr. & Mrs. Donald K. Dale. Christ Memorial Reformed Episcopal Mission in Phoenix, Arizona.

Annual Parish Meeting

March 26, 2000, following Morning Prayer. The meeting will be preceded by a catered luncheon in the Parish Hall. All members should plan to attend. All treasurers and committee chairmen should be prepared to deliver reports.


Lent

The Lenten Season begins on Ash Wednesday, March 8, 2000. As has been our tradition, we will meet on each of the Wednesday nights of Lent. We will have a pot-luck dinner at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall. A sign-up sheet will be posted in the Narthex. Following dinner we will gather in the chapel to worship our Lord. The service will begin at 7:30 p.m.

FOUR GOALS OF LENT

1. Re-discover a Personal God ... Have you ever felt religion and the Church have failed to satisfy you? You may be right! Churches fail but God does not fail. Come and seek Him personally. In quietness look behind the forms and symbols to the living God.

2. Discover yourself ... Set apart this brief amount of time each week to consider what you are really like, what your real needs are, your wants and fears. Here is a chance to escape stress and strain and meditate upon the serious aspects of your life.

3. To gain Self Mastery ... In studying the Master of life we see afresh the secret of abundant living. Reality if filled with hardship, disappointment, sorrow, defeat as well as Joy, Happiness and Peace. A Christian is not exempt from these realities. However our own Lord Jesus Christ lived, met and overcame all these. We hold our Lenten meetings to learn of Him these lessons of life.

4. Finally we meet as a testimony to the community to say that this is a Church of men and women who believe and remember, and are proclaiming the “good news” of Christ, a lighted, active church is a fine testimony.


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