Good Friday. Three crosses and three men, one sentence: death. Our entire Lenten fast and feast, our prayers and questions, our tears and sorrows, our fears and anxieties, all culminate at this one place: the Cross. We knew that we would end here when we begin Lent. We also know that this cross, this death will do nothing to kill the Word of God. In fact, it ignites this Word. This fire Spirit still burns brightly.
For me, Lent was a challenge of a different sort. On one hand I was at peace, fasting from worry and feasting on faith. In essence I tried to allow Jesus to take the wheel and drive my life. On the other hand, it was forty days of chaos and stress as I pushed myself to write a devotional a day. Some might have been better than others, but I did it. And I am appreciative to all of you for your input and participation. I hope to write more frequently on my personal blog site as I continue to seek new ways to find Jesus in a world of Jesús and other strangers.
While this devotional has come to an end, our life journey with Christ as just begun. There will be good days, and bad nights. And bad days, but good nights. There will be up’s and down’s that will push us and challenge our faith. In fact, there will be a lot of crap you’ll just have to put up with. How you react, how you learn, and how you grow in the love of Christ will not only determine the peace you will find, but it will also set the tone for peace in the world.
In the meantime, please read this wonderful poem by Christine Black, from the March edition of Sojourners magazine.
A Lenten Poem
By Christine E. Black
How to bring god closer
after the frenzy, the snarling riots,
this god hanging on a tree?
Do I stand here, as the story goes,
looking, do nothing, imagine
pouring myself toward him,
a flame across a field?
Or would I go there,
climb up, pry the first nails out
with the claw of a hammer,
wrap my arm tightly around his waist,
like my son I rescue from a branch too high?
I struggle to keep his weight on my hip,
his arm over my shoulder
while I wrest the other nails loose.
Smelling his sweat and tears,
I hoist him, lower him to the ground,
and then, with a wet cloth,
wash blood and dirt from his face,
tell him it will be all right now.
He is not forsaken, I say.
I’m here and can help.
I’m strong and fierce, have survived childbirths
and madness, sickness and suicides.
Here, I will carry you down.
I will go get more help.
And I know others who will come,
with bandages, bread,
broth and soft songs, blankets.
We will not leave you there
Faithful Jesus, your faith was tried just like mine, but even more. Yet you trusted that you would not be put to shame, and into God’s hands you entrusted your spirit. Give me courage today to do the same in the time of life’s trials and tribulations. Amen.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”