Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday in Holy Week: "There they crucified him"

Opening Sentence
Rend your hearts and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil. Joel 2:13

Collect of the Day
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other that the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 51

Lessons: Lamentations 1:1-2, 6-12; 2 Corinthians 1:1-7; Mark 11:12-25

Meanwhile let's bear it in mind for our safe-conduct, that the cross is no incidental privation, no personal misfortune. I've heard everything called a cross, from ill-health to a wayward son; from loneliness to an unruly temper; from somebody who pays you no attention to somebody who pays you too much. It's a kind of blasphemy. When we talk that way we are thinking more of ourselves than of anybody else, fairly eaten with self-pity. And we dress up our complaining spirit in the garb of sainthood.

The cross is any place where a saving love goes out to undergird this life of ours, and comes back with the hot stab of nails in its hands! It's the place where you try with all your might, and have nothing it may be but a hurt for your trying, and a heart that keeps stretching anyway as far as your arms can reach. When you've begun to grow muscle like that; when you're ready for the defeat life is always trying to impose on you, yet by His grace can assert your mastery still -- striking out toward a lost world through the floods that have gone over you -- only then may you begin to talk falteringly of a cross, and reach up unashamed to the feet of Him who still rules from it. "There they crucified him." I wish we'd quit expecting anything to come of anything else -- in God's world or man's!

Paul Scherer
"The Ageless Cross"

The Old Rugged Cross