Friday, April 6, 2012
Good Friday 2012
So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but, 'This man said, I am King of the Jews.'" Pilate answered, "What I have written I have written." When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it." This was to fulfill what the scripture says,
"They divided my clothes among themselves,
and for my clothing they cast lots."
And that is what the soldiers did.
Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, "Woman, here is your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Here is your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), "I am thirsty." A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, "It is finished." Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Today, Good Friday 2012, is the 10th anniversary of my consecration. It was a joyful day beyond measure that warm spring morning at St. Paul's College as we processed into the gym. Surrounded by young friends smudging the procession, I was filled with thanksgiving, awe and humility at God's presence and love in my life. And today, as we reflect together on the ultimate sacrifice of God, his child's life, his son's flesh for the life of the world, I am again surrounded by humility, awe and thanksgiving for God's love and power in my life. In all of our lives.
Truthfully, there are no words I have when reflected on the cross, the drama, the violence, the madness and the love. We are all, at times, willing to sacrifice the innocent, to protect ourselves against others, shut out those who are different or renegades, torture and tease the challenged and gifted among us. The cross is our making too. Today, we contemplate together, silently, the ways in which we have been broken by our need, and how God has so graciously and completely offered love and sacrifice for all our faults.
Today, let us pray. "Dear Creator, who in the darkness of chaos created light, who in the pain of birthing brought us joy and abundance, in the pain and violence in our world, has offered us, over and over again the prince of peace. May we gather up our broken pieces, the cruelty and the hurt and lay them at the foot of the cross. May we be filled again with love and compassion, as we contemplate your love, willing to be sacrificed for us and for the whole world. Hear us Lord, as we cry to you from deep in our souls, silent aches and sobs of failure and abuse that have bound us too long from loving. Break the bonds of our slavery as you break the bonds of death. Blessed Christ, may we rise with you, washed in the light of your countenance and renewed by sacrifice for us. Amen