The Kingdom Of God is hard to get to. The promised land is a paradoxical place where some are first now who will be last there, and some are in last place now who will find themselves in first place there, and people will come from every part of the earth to the land that is an inclusive community: "Men and women will come from east and west and from north and south and sit at the kingdom table," Jesus said. And you yourselves thrust out.
So who is to be thrust out? Jesus was talking to those who are primarily concerned about their individual "salvation." "Brother, Sister, Are you Saved?" That is, did you get your personal lottery ticket to heaven?
Jesus said, "It's not that easy."
His vision of the promised land was that of community, not a private space. It is of a city, not some privatised elderly retreat. Jesus weeps over the city in today's gospel and there's enough to weep over.
Because “I'll get mine" has been the motto of our leaders, the motto of our “citizens” - but until we learn to live together in the city we shall not have the promised land. Heaven, the Bible says, is a city, not a country place - a community, not isolation. Jesus' vision of the city is that of a gathered community, not a gentrified neighbourhood.
I remember when you could walk down any street in Melbourne and people were sitting on the front porch and hanging over the fence talking to each other. Now we live behind our houses in the back ghetto with high walls so that no one can see us enjoying our isolation. Where people live in isolation from neighbours, you have no city.
Jesus saw a hen with her chicks - safety, nurture, peace, protection.
And he promises we won't stop him from weeping until we can welcome him and his vision of community as the way to the promised land.