Friday, April 10, 2009
"He said, 'I am thirsty'. There was a jar full of sour wine near. They filled a sponge and put it on a stick and put it to his mouth. Jesus took the sour wine and said, 'It is finished'. He put his head down, gave up his spirit and died."
A moment of human tenderness in the vast sea of cruel torture. One moment of responding to a dying mans thirst while torturing him and hanging him from a cross. We so often assuage our guilt when we have done some trifling thing for another, yet we wouldn't release them from torment or pain. We haven't found real compassion. Jesus hung on the cross for our fears, our faults, our unwillingness to give up power for love. We would rather be right than be generous. We would be appropriate rather than compassionate. We would give hand outs rather than touching a hand, surrounding another in embrace.
Jesus offered himself for us. It was ugly and violent, a display of the worst of human nature. Humans daily let children be abused rather than be embarrassed. We can look on cruelty and be silent. We look on isolation and exclusion and rejoice that we belong. Jesus offers himself for us. Our selfish needs, our blind ambitions, our petty control issues -Jesus offers himself now for us. Can we see the blood running down in pools, spilling for us, clotting for us, mixing with dust and sweat, for us?
Can we look on love so great, so unyielding and not be moved?
I pray that today I can realize the offering that God has made for me and for the world. No less than God's child - an awful bargain. And yet, a love that is sacrificial beyond all human telling. A love that sees beyond this brief life to the larger and nearer presence of God. A love that is not temporal. A love that is eternal, for me and for all of us. I want to live today in that unbelievable reality of love unbounded. Despite the cruelty of the world, God's love for us is unbounded. Despite the setbacks and abuse, God's love for us is unbounded. May we live today in that awesome awareness, that we are surrounded by love active in an beyond history. Love present and for all time.