“He, the Lord of all lords in heaven and earth, becomes and is the most despised and wretched of all servants!
He, the divine and human Light, was wrapped in deepest concealment!
He, the divine and human Judge, was judged!
He, the living God and the only truly living human, was executed and destroyed, disappearing into the night of death!
This is the one antithesis in the existence of Jesus Christ.”
Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics IV/2, p. 349.
This is one of my favourite Mary Oliver Poems. Her preoccupation is with the created world and the beauty which is offered to us every day.
Here creation keeps faith and watches with Jesus in the garden as his disciples sleep.
The grass, the roses, the lilies and the crickets… the wind, the stars and the water of the lake keep watch as Jesus cries out his fear and anguish to his heavenly father.
The grass never sleeps.
Or the roses.
Nor does the lily have a secret eye that shuts until morning.
Jesus said, wait with me. But the disciples slept.
The cricket has such splendid fringe on its feet,
and it sings, have you noticed, with its whole body,
and heaven knows if it ever sleeps.
Jesus said, wait with me.
And maybe the stars did, maybe the wind wound itself into a silver tree, and didn’t move, maybe
the lake far away, where once he walked as on a
lay still and waited, wild awake.
Oh the dear bodies, slumped and eye-shut, that could not
keep that vigil, how they must have wept,
so utterly human, knowing this too
must be a part of the story.
And isn’t this so reassuring… to us who are so utterly human… to know we too are part of the story?
Another meditation for Lent from Mucky Paws. But just as appropriate for this Holy Week as we travel ever nearer to Friday:
a place of birth
a time of losing
a way of revelation
such is Lent
where all things of faith
are taken to the cross
and allowed to die
but those that speak of love
are redeemed through death
they break into life once more
There are moments in life that call for extravagance, moments when we must lay aside calculation and caution, moments when we must give wholeheartedly of ourselves.
Some things and some people are worth giving all that we have and all that we are.
Today Jesus is in Bethany (John 12.1-11). He is with friends, surrounded by those he loves most in the world. He is at rest, eating and drinking and enjoying their company.
Mary adds to this wonderful evening for Jesus by pouring perfume over his feet until the whole house is filled with its scent, the locks of her hair caressing his feet. She gives herself completely to what she knows and believes about Jesus. She is caught up in the moment and she ministers to Jesus, her actions mirroring all the ways that Jesus has previously ministered to her and to her loved ones.
But more significantly, Mary is also anointing Jesus in preparation for the journey he is about to make. Her actions foretell all that Jesus will do in this most holy week. They foretell of his extravagant and self-sacrificing love… love which will take him all the way to death on a cross…his life poured out for the life of the world.
Found this on Roddy’s blog …a reflection for Monday…after the palm branches are discarded and the hosannas fade:
Something has changed in the air
There is some noise
that is normally there
A city scape of sound:
deals being done.
But in the noise,
silence has broken out.
It’s like something in the city is holding its breath
like the heartbeat at the centre
pausing for a moment,
…and then all hell breaks loose:
the noise rushing to fill the vacuum of silence
with the crumple of a table
snagged in a glance of anger,
the snap of a doves wings
as she makes her escape from shadow into light,
the roar of coins across the old slabs
uncaught be scrabbling hands.
But this disturbance
isn’t the kingdom moment.
That was in the silence before,
when the heartbeat paused,
something has just changed.
Picture is ‘threshold’ by Jonny Baker on Flickr