Every now and then something pops up to make the day 'interesting' and today it related to troubled souls and human nature of the kind one (thankfully) sees rarely. The problem is that sometimes it seems that there is a leak in the local 'weird' factory and the stuff spills out over the town infecting us all. So I spent some time reflecting upon the folly of some and challenges they bring to the party!
But that soon passed by and the potential to distract from Jesus was soon diminished and kicked into touch. The highlight of the day was our stains of the cross service. It was a more traditional service than usual in that it followed the fourteen steps many would recognise from the images found in may churches. Different to last year's 'modern' reflection we had Jesus' falling three times and the women of Jerusalem, and Veronica, featuring.
We billed the service as sixty minutes and managed to keep it at that - hopefully tonight's more modern service will do the same - yet it felt much shorter.
Although I'm supposed to be a card-carrying evangelical, the traditions which take us out of the daily normality to reflect upon the passion of Jesus, the Christ, in Holy Week never fail to affect and influence me. The images and the words capture my attention causing the world and it's weirdness to take on it's true relevance: And this is 'nothing at all'!
In the light of Jesus everything else falls away into the irrelevance and foolishness that it really is. We see grasping for power as but dross to be burned off and the hearts of mankind are exposed and found to be wanting. And yet, in the midst of it all thee is a glimmer of hope, of healing, as Jesus passes along the Via Dolorosa and ascends the slope that leads to Golgotha.
Broken for us, willingly, obediently - blood and love poured out - how can I be anything but grateful?
The flagellum bite into His body stripping flesh and exposing the very inner man - taking my place in the punishment and pain - how can I not be different because of this?
The nails, hammered home hammer home the truth that the debt of sin is cancelled - having been given back a life that was forfeit - how can I not be grateful?
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You
because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.