Luke 13:31-35 sees Jesus lamenting over Jerusalem – a centre of power and influence in his part of the world in his time – probably no different from any other city we know, ancient or modern. There was one difference however. Jerusalem was heir to the Abrahamic covenant – a divine initiative that would see it at the centre of a universal realm governed by what the Hebrew people called shalom – a radical vision of peace uniting all nations – indeed all creation under the compassion and grace of the Creator of all things.
Jerusalem, however, serially fell prey to corruption and political power plays, just as our own cities and power centres do – one only needs to look at this week’s headlines involving both Perth and Canberra to recognise as much.
What is one to do? The same as Jesus did. Refuse to be silent about the reign of God until somebody executes you. Then refuse to lie down, break the law again and be raised!
This was Fr John Dear’s challenge to a packed gathering in Perth this weekend as he called for radical obedience to non-violent peace-making. He knew what he was talking about. He has been arrested and jailed many times in the USA for expressions of opposition in the name of Jesus to warfare. Visit www.johndear.org for a fascinating and challenging insight to his ministry.