“If Jerusalem had known what it was her privilege to know, and had heeded the
light which Heaven had sent her, she might have stood forth in the pride of prosperity, the queen of kingdoms, free in the strength of her God-given power. There would have been no armed soldiers standing at her gates. . . . The glorious destiny that might have blessed Jerusalem had she accepted her Redeemer rose before the Son of God. He saw that she might through Him have been healed of her grievous malady, liberated from bondage, and established as the mighty metropolis of the earth. From her walls the dove of peace would have gone forth to all nations. She would have been the world’s diadem of glory.”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 577.
- If you want to understand in a more modern context the suffering that God’s prophets often endured, read from the book Life Sketches by Ellen G. White. What does this book teach about the toils and trials that God’s faithful messengers can face?
- It is so easy to get caught up in religious forms, traditions, and rituals, all of which may be fine. At the same time, though, what happens when these forms and rituals become ends in themselves, instead of pointing us toward what it truly means to be a follower of the God whom we worship with those forms?
- Dwell more on the whole idea of the incarnation, the idea that the Creator God took upon Himself our human flesh. As one medieval theologian wrote, “Retaining all that He was, Christ took upon Himself what He wasn’t”—and that is our humanity. Think about what this amazing truth reveals about God’s love for us. Why should this truth fill us with hope, gratitude, and praise, regardless of our circumstances?