Friday, April 6, 2012

Lent Day 39: GOOD FRIDAY   The Twelfth & Thirteenth Stations

Jesus dies on the cross.
It is finished, it is done. When death comes it marks the end of our life and accomplishments and we return back to those sobering words of Ash Wednesday “remember you are dust and to dust you shall return” What will be leave behind apart from the dust of our decaying body? Have we left the world a better or worse place as a result of our lives? To the enemies of Jesus his death was a punishment, but to his followers it was a tragic loss. Three days later something happens to his friends. They come to see his life in a profoundly different way. They had the realization that he lived in service to others and I believe this was the resurrection experience that motivated them to do the same. May our lives be filled with service to others and in doing so we both model and serve the living Christ, represented in our humanity. Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, have mercy upon us.

The body of Jesus is placed in the arms of his mother
Her tears run down her cheeks and she has none to comfort her. Is there any sorrow more sever that the loss of a child? It is without a doubt the greatest fear a parent ever has. It seems to be unnatural and unjust. I vividly remember when my grandfather died years ago. His elderly mother, my great-grand mother, was devastated. I remember when we went to the funeral home and she saw his dead body for the first time she kept hugging and kissing him and calling him her precious baby as she wailed with tears. We couldn’t pull her away from the casket. If she could have picked him up and held him in her arms she would have. She kept say why couldn’t god have taken her instead. She lived another five years, after his death, but I don’t think she ever fully accepted his death. There was a great void in her heart that she carried to the grave. Think about all the grieving Marys of our own time. Parents who experience infant deaths to SIDS, cancer and other fatal diseases; from drive by shootings and other forms of violence; from suicides; from drunk driving accidents; from war & terrorism; and especially  the parents of Trayvon Martin. Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, have mercy upon us.

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