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Daily Devotional for August 19


August 19                                                              Mark 11:1-11

Jerusalem is the center of Jewish life and worship, the home
of the Temple, the center of sacrifice. It is in Jerusalem that
the paschal lamb is slaughtered, that blood is shed, that
religious fervor is surrounded by the pain and anguish
associated with these oblations.

Jesus enters into this city in a most deliberate way, quite unlike
the way he entered into Jericho, where he called on Zacchaeus
to host a dinner party for the crowd that had met him. Here
in Jerusalem, Jesus rides through the midst of the crowd and
goes directly to the Temple, the center of the pain of the
people, looking closely at this place and gathering in the
heartfelt concerns of the people. Temple worship, with its
daily ritual of blood sacrifices poured out day after day, sym-
bolizes the living sacrifice of the people.

Today we are also aware of other forms of pain. There is the
pain and sacrifice experienced in racism, sexism, and
homophobia. There is the pain experienced in our families
through addiction, abuse, and separation. There is the personal
pain of rejection, loneliness, and broken relationships. The
ministry of Christ moves directly to the points of our pain and
is present in them. It is this presence of Christ which empowers
us to move through the pain of our lives so that we are able
to enter into the new life, the full life, the integrated life of
the resurrection.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989

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