O Jerusalem! 7 March 2015

El Greco - Christ - WGA10501.jpg

Although a late work, this painting recalls the Byzantine icon painting of El Greco’s youth. His fluid brushwork and extensive use of background colour admirably conveys the idea of divine light.

Matt 23: 37 ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

2 Peter 3: 3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, ‘Where is this “coming” he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’ 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.


Mothers have an unquenchable longing to protect and defend and keep their little ones safe. Jesus capitalised on this drive to explain God’s passion to redeem Jerusalem. God, like a mother hen, loved the world because it is his nature to love and protect.

God is the lover of all the world at once. When Jesus offered this lament over Jerusalem, the world population was only a few millions. Now there are more than six billion people in the world. Yet even in a world of billions, this amazing God reaches out in love to one person at a time. The world wants no other kind of love except that which comes one at a time. Yet in spite of such love, the world still rejects Christ.

How Jesus wept at being rejected by his people. This rejection is not just a Jewish problem. Christ, like a mother hen, weeps over the entire lost and fragmented world.


Lord, help me to feel the yearning in your heart to love where I live. Help me to be more aware than ever this Easter season that you have placed me  to share the light of your love and grace in every corner of my world.