The Way of the Cross
What are we doing to you Jesus
when we imagine God as a stern, judgemental God,
constantly emphasising our ‘sins and wickedness’?
What are we doing to ourselves, cringing and wallowing,
our thoughts focussed on our degradation and unworthiness?
What are we doing to the wonderful potential within each one of us
when we so often focus on our just deserts?
Can’t we see from the Jesus of the gospels your gentle touch, encouraging, leading to
wholeness of ordinary people,
people like most of us?
Can’t we distinguish
that your words of condemnation
were reserved for deliberate hypocrisy and self-righteousness,
that even then, it was the deeds rather than the person being challenged?
Haven’t we yet learned that encouragement and praise
work far more miracles of transformation
than constant fear of punishment?
Jesus, who spoke of a loving Father,
help us to see the crucifixion
not as the placating and pacifying of an angry God
but as a journey through death,
giving us a sign that your goodness will always overcome evil,
stronger than even death itself.
Help us to differentiate between wholesome awe and paralysing fear.
Trusting that insight, nurture and encourage us to become,
not fear stricken cowards,
but the people of our potential,
growing, becoming more Christ-like
day by day.
Give us the vision to recognise
the way, the truth and the life,
rejecting selfishness, worshipping God and loving our neighbours.
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Many of you will know that Lent for me has indeed been a journey towards the way of the cross, because my son, Christopher, died in February, a few days before his fifty third birthday, from a particularly aggressive cancer. Words cannot express my gratitude to the literally hundreds of people who have reached out to my family, with such love, concern, prayers, offers of help, emails, cards, phone calls, flowers, hugs, tears and smiles as memories have been shared with such compassion.
More than two hundred and fifty people attended his funeral. Generous donations have been given for the charity, WorkAid which recycles unwanted tools and trains young people to earn a living. Mickleton people have been well-represented in this ocean of caring, surely reflective of the new life emerging from that tomb in Jerusalem on Easter Day.
Experiencing such love at this distressing time for us and in a world where so much of the world news is even more depressing, gives me Easter hope that literally nothing can destroy God who is active in our world in the power of he risen Jesus, often through caring people, (human angels?) like you. A heart-felt thank you to you all.
With love and prayers,
Rev Ros Murphy
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