Monday, August 31, 2009

He is not ashamed to call us friends.

"For faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

"Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe. Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him."

Crucified, arms open wide, held in place by spikes. Robbers on either side.
God's plan to rescue the world.
Something the world does not understand. Something I do not always understand.
It is a language that we do not often speak: sacrifice.

Sweet injuries!
Yet they at these
themselves displease,
and'gainst him rise.Sometimes they strew his way
and his sweet praises sing,
resounding all the day
hosanna to their King.
Then 'Crucify!'
is all their breath
and for his death
they thirst and cry.
Why, what has my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
he gave the blind their sight.

The melody of this song plays over and over in my head and I write down more lines from yesterdays service.
"How deep the Father's love for us,
how vast beyond all measure,
that He should give His only Son
to make a wretch his treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss;
the Father turns His face away,
as wounds which mar the Chosen One
bring many son to glory.

So, by now you are beginning to see that when I am struck by something, I want to, need to write down my thoughts to make sense of them.

I will not ever understand the suffering.
I wonder what Mark heard, what he understood(if anything)?
I find myself dwelling on the storyline of the robbers hanging on either side of Jesus. Is this not an apt description of where our Lord places himself?

"He saved others, they said, but he can't save himself!"
"He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him"
"In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him."

Alone with my thoughts I can contemplate about the many aspects of love.
But when I ponder over the scripture that shares the communication between Jesus and those around him in this case the robbers, I am struck by the humble touch of compassion in a moment of intense pain and deep agony.
What one many loses another gains.
"Don't you fear God, he said, since you are under the same sentence?
We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.
But this man has done nothing wrong."
"The he said, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
"Jesus answered him, I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

"Spare all, O God, which confess their faults. Restore all who are penitent; according to your promises declared to all mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord."

"I will not boast in anything,
no gifts, no pow'r, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer.
But this I know with all my heart:
His wounds have paid my ransom.

Words of life spoken in the briefest of moments as final breaths are expelled.
Christ died for all but hanging between two, only one has a penitent heart.
What has he got to lose? What has he got to gain?
Lord, remember me?
And a promise is given.
It is a solemn moment that is not lost on me. So much that the story remains in my mind today.

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