Fortieth Day of Lent, Holy Saturday

Luke 23:50-56

“The women who had come with Jesus…” (v. 55)

The women.

Four women. A grandmother. A mother. A wife. A friend.

A grandmother. Her name was Grace and she embodied her name. All grace from her. She loved me unconditionally, prayed for me, and told me about Jesus. All grace, good news from beginning to end.

A mother. Her name was Harriet. She was Grace’s daughter. With her it was sacrifice. She was the embodiment of sacrificial love. My father died when I was eleven. But Mom was always there. My needs before her needs. My life before her life.

A wife. Valerie is her name. She embodies strength and hope. Always. Forty-two years. Seven moves. Four sons. Good times and hard times. Joys and sorrow. Always strength. Always hope. Now, as I struggle with cancer and challenges in ministry, I borrow strength, borrow hope from her.

A friend and colleague. Debbie is a woman of courage and character. She teaches me to listen, to hear people’s stories, to welcome the other into my life. Her life is the embodiment of compassion, reconciliation and justice.

The women. Four women who have shown me Jesus. Grace and Harriet and Valerie and Debbie. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. 

Richard Lucco
Covenant Offices

 

Lenten Reader 2018
Online | Booklet Version | Large Print Version

 

 

Thirty-Ninth Day of Lent, Good Friday

Luke 23:26-49

I’m not sure He knew He was going to die.

Not like this. Not in the grip of swirling dust and noonday sun. With the cries of His friends and family all around Him. On the efficient timeline of the empire’s cross.

The gospel writers certainly thought that Christ was self-aware and knew the time was coming. His face ‘being set’ toward Jerusalem. His teachings on the need for a seed to fall into the ground and die.

But if He was human at all this is hardly a revelation or insight, right?! Like us, for Jesus it was just a question of when…not if.

On that Good Friday morning it would have become clear though, as judgement was passed and scourging meted out and a cross beam hand-selected for Him to bear. In those moments Jesus encountered death as we all do: unavoidable.

What is so curious for me in this reading of the text is how, in those final scenes of Christ’s life, a host of other characters found themselves caught up in the story. And much like Jesus’, we might assume that their Friday unfolded differently then they anticipated or desired.

Simon got man-handled by soldiers and told to carry a cross. Women who had found dignity and welcome in Christ’s presence saw their hope fading with every step. Two criminals met their end, long-in-coming by feared nonetheless. Soldiers mocked, only to discover that they’d killed a holy man.

And in their stories we should see ourselves. In the moments of our lives where unexpected tragedy struck. When we came to the end of ourselves. When we failed to meet expectations. When we were swept into darkness.
And fear.
And death.

Good Friday’s coming might not feel like comfort, but what it brings is the affirmation that in all death’s unexpected forms and comings…we are not alone. Christ knows that road, and there He holds us.

This is our hope.

Scott Wall
Calgary, AB

 

 

Lenten Reader 2018
Online | Booklet Version | Large Print Version