December 11, 2023

The God Who Cries

Luke 19:28-44

As [Jesus] approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.

—  Luke 19:41

God chooses not to turn away from human suffering. Instead, God chooses to identify with those who mourn, and, through Jesus, he has made suffering and humiliation his own—all for our sake. Christ’s coming and his crucifixion are the powerful bookends of a life filled with suffering, service, and identifying with “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40). Jesus had a humiliating birth in a barn or a stable where animals were sheltered (Luke 2:7). And he had an even more humiliating death, being publicly executed on a cross between two criminals (Luke 23:32-33). During his life among us, it wasn’t much better—he was often homeless (Luke 9:58), mocked, tested, and threatened with death. Recently a 17-year-old boy who grew up at Roseland Christian Ministries was shot and killed walking to his home. His sisters and grandmother wept for days. Jesus did too. Our shelter is filled with women and children who are displaced. Mothers have wept here over the humiliation and shame of being homeless. Jesus weeps with them. Jesus weeps and identifies with all of us in our suffering. Please know that in your tears, pain, and times of suffering, God is not far off. God in Christ Jesus weeps with you.

Lord, in our suffering, we are grateful that you are not far off. We are grateful that in Christ Jesus you weep with us. Give us the peace of knowing you are with us. Amen.

About the author — Joe Huizenga

Joe Huizenga serves as pastor and executive director of Roseland Christian Ministries in Chicago, Illinois. He and his wife, Cate, have four children.

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