Image from Jerusalem.com The Golden Candlestick: “For thousands of years, the Temple Menora has been a Jewish symbol of exile and promised redemption.” (Exodus 25:31-40; Numbers 8:1-4)
Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down!
How the mountains would quake in your presence!
As fire causes wood to burn
and water to boil,
your coming would make the nations tremble.
Then your enemies would learn the reason for your fame!
When you came down long ago,
you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations.
And oh, how the mountains quaked!
For since the world began,
no ear has heard
and no eye has seen a God like you,
who works for those who wait for him!
You welcome those who gladly do good,
who follow godly ways.
But you have been very angry with us,
for we are not godly.
We are constant sinners;
how can people like us be saved?
We are all infected and impure with sin.
When we display our righteous deeds,
they are nothing but filthy rags.
Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall,
and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
Yet no one calls on your name
or pleads with you for mercy.
Therefore, you have turned away from us
and turned us over to our sins.
And yet, O Lord, you are our Father.
We are the clay, and you are the potter.
We all are formed by your hand.
Don’t be so angry with us, Lord.
Please don’t remember our sins forever.
Look at us, we pray,
and see that we are all your people.
Your holy cities are destroyed.
Zion is a wilderness;
yes, Jerusalem is a desolate ruin.
The holy and beautiful Temple
where our ancestors praised you
has been burned down,
and all the things of beauty are destroyed.
After all this, Lord, must you still refuse to help us?
Will you continue to be silent and punish us?