“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 either side, with Jesus between them.” – John 19:17-18 

This morning’s StillSpeaking Devotional is simply entitled “Good Friday“.  In it, Matt Fitzgerald states “I don’t believe God sacrificed Jesus.”  I’ve wrestled with the “Jesus had to die to fulfill the scriptures” line in the past. I had a little trouble at last night’s wonderful Maundy Thursday (I’ll always think of it as Holy Thursday) service thinking of “the sacrifice to come”. Perhaps there is a cross, not a ruler (not even the golden one…) nor a lesson plan on our altars — but, to me it’s logical.  The Messiah came to love and serve and that’s the opposite of what was expected — even what was hoped for, desired.

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Jesus taught love and servanthood and the world — humanity, evil incarnate — couldn’t tolerate substituting those for the law.  To those in power, it may have been seen as justice.  And when justice is at odds with love, with continuing to be true to what one knows is true, I have to hope I could stand, as Jesus did.

I’ve been awake for the last hour, and perhaps this has been my vigil (it’s 5 am my time).  I was disappointed that we weren’t able to populate an overnight vigil at our church, that people weren’t willing to spend time in the sanctuary, but perhaps I need to merely be happy for those who participated in the “do it yourself vigil”.  I’ve been re-reading Jan Karon’s Mitford series.  (The tales of Tim Kavenaugh are sweet.)  

Last night, I had the privilege of sitting with a friend who was moved to tears at Taylor Churney’s singing – perhaps it was the song, or some still incomplete mourning, or merely being with God in the moment.  Whatever it was, I love that our congregation has created a little Mitford here in Batavia.  We are able to be our transparent, authentic selves with one another, that we can be true to our God and ourselves.  I believe we can ask little that is more valuable.

This is disjointed, but I hope you find the thread that weaves it together: love.  Will you pray with me, please?

God of grace,

You started this whole thing, from the cosmos on through history to the present and beyond.  You were there at the beginning and made it begin.  Your power creates all things.  And it is love.  I am but a mere mortal, one of your creations.  You are amazing!

Lord of love,

I wish I could say I wouldn’t have betrayed Jesus or deserted him in the garden.  In my heart, I know my weaknesses; I could easily have rationalized handing him over to the Romans and I know if I were tired after a good Seder with wine, I would have fallen asleep.  Lord, I cannot believe it was your intent for Jesus to die, but I cannot believe his life could have culminated in any other way. Those who live in darkness thought they could extinguish his light.  And, OH, were they wrong!

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Perfect Parent,

Thank you.  Thank you for my life.  Thank you for Jesus’ life. Thank you for lights that keep out the darkness and help us to have glimpses of your eternal love.

Lord, I love you so much.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen. 

 

Love to you this Eastertide

and always.

To God be the glory!

© Melissa Pazen, 2014

Live Inspired: pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

 

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