“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace…” Luke 19:38-42
Dear Lord Jesus, the ache within our hearts for peace is unrelenting. Let me get specific, the ache within MY heart is unrelenting. Though I already rest in you-plus-nothing, for my forgiveness and righteousness, I still get sucker-punched by the tantalizing illusion that peace can be found in something or someone else.
Some days, Jesus, I’m just like Esau. My peace-pangs take over and, in the moment, I’ll gladly settle for a bowl of hot portage over the hope of a future banquet. The provision of a snack-in-hand blinds my eye, deafens my ear, dulls my taste buds to the sumptuous fare of the Wedding Feast of the Lamb… the only Day when my longing and demanding heart will be fully set free to delight in you. “Maranatha!” Even so, Lord Jesus, come… hasten that Day!
Some days, Jesus, I get lost in the world of “if only.” If only there were no tensions in any of my relationships, I’d be a happy man. If only the phone wouldn’t ring again, demanding a little more of me than I have to offer, I’d be fine. If only I lived somewhere else… worked with different people… had a different body… had more money… had less hassles… had a different spouse… had never been deeply wounded… were twenty years younger…
But right now I hear you say to me, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace…” Indeed, Jesus, you alone… this day and every day… are the Prince of Peace. Only in union with you… only in communion with you do I find the true and sufficient peace for which I long. “Ain’t no rock gonna take my place…” I gladly cry out, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”, for you, Jesus, are the king of glory and grace.
Until the Day of consummate peace, continue to free me from dangerous illusions and please steer my feet away from the path to the dark forest of “if only.” So very Amen, I pray, in your passionate and persistent name.
Pastor for Preaching, Teaching and Worship
Christ Community Church, Franklin, Tn.