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Posts Tagged ‘Cross and Comfort’

  The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. St. John 22: 23             

COLLECT OF THE DAY

Almighty God,grant that in the midst of our failures and weaknesses we may be restored through the passion and intercession of Your only-begotten Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

READINGS

Isaiah 50:5-10

Psalm 36:5-10

Hebrews 9:11-15

St. Matthew 26:1-27:66 or St. John 12:1-23                                                                                                                         

 

Cross Reflections:  A few years back I saw an ad for this kind of hand-held olive wood cross with this ad copy, ““Shaped to comfortably fit into the palm of your hand as you pray and meditate, crafted to inspire you with its deep meaning in your faith.” 

A cross, the Roman means of brutally executing criminals at the time of Christ and after, was not meant to fit comfortably into the palm of my hand or yours.  Just the opposite.  I am leery of anyone then who pitches me that a cross, crafted by some guy for what he/she thinks will inspire me. Such a religious sentiment misses the meaning of the Cross in the New Testament.  I like the hymn section entitled, Cross and Comfort. His Cross was not for comfort or fitting comfortably into the world but that we be comforted and fit into His hand, forgiven, loved before the foundations of the world. His hands still bear the marks of the crucifixion.

The Lord  the Master,  dies instead of the servants

In place of the debtors, the Faithful One; 

The Physician dies for the good of the patient; The Shepherd rescues His sheep,

The King dies for the sins of His subjects;

The Peace-maker for the warriors;

The Creator dies for His creation;

God Himself wins man’s salvation!

What now should the servant, the debtor,

the sick one, the sheep, the nation, the multitude do? What should the creatures, mankind, do?

In love extol his Redeemer!

(from Lutheran Pastor and Professor Johann Gerhard’s An Explanation of the History of the Suffering and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ (published 1663)
“Either I determine the place in which I will find God, or I allow God to determine the place where He will be found. If it is I who say where God will be, I will always find there a God who in some way corresponds to me, is agreeable to me, fits in with my nature. But if it is God who says where he will be, then that will truly be a place which at first is not agreeable to me at all, which does not fit so well with me. That place is the cross of Christ. And whoever will find God there must draw near to the cross in the manner which the Sermon on the Mount requires. That does not correspond to our nature at all; it is, in fact, completely contrary to it. But this is the message of the Bible, not only the New Testament but also the Old. (Is. 53!) In any case, Jesus and Paul understand it in this way — that the cross of Jesus fulfills the Scriptures of the Old Testament. The entire Bible, then, is the Word in which God allows himself to be found by us. Not a place which is agreeable to us or makes sense to us a priori, but instead a place which is strange to us and contrary to our nature. Yet, the very place in which God has decided to meet us.”  Pr. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)

Crown Him the Lord of love; behold His hands and side, those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified. All hail, Redeemer, hail! For Thou hast died for me;  Thy praise and glory shall not fail throughout eternity. (Hymn:  “Crown Him with Many Crowns”)

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VERSE:   The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. John 12:23b

COLLECT OF THE DAY

Almighty God,grant that in the midst of our failures and weaknesses we may be restored through the passion and intercession of Your only-begotten Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

READINGS

Isaiah 50:5-10

Psalm 36:5-10

Hebrews 9:11-15

Matthew 26:1-27:66                                                                                                                          

or John 12:1-23

Cross Reflections:  A few years back I saw an ad for this kind of hand-held olive wood cross with this ad copy, ““Shaped to comfortably fit into the palm of your hand as you pray and meditate, crafted to inspire you with its deep meaning in your faith.” 

A cross, the Roman means of brutally executing criminals at the time of Christ and after, was not meant to fit comfortably into the palm of my hand or yours. This is the stuff of Play Doh Christianity.   Just the opposite. Hands were nailed to a cross.  I am leery of anyone then who pitches me  a cross, crafted by some guy for what he thinks will inspire me, and this is faith in faith not faith in the One who died on the Cross for sinners.  This ‘palm cross” is only  a religious sentiment misses the meaning of the Cross in the New Testament.  I like the hymn section entitled, Cross and Comfort. His Cross was not for comfort or fitting comfortably into the world but that we be comforted and fit into His hand, forgiven, loved before the foundations of the world. His Cross is not for the palm of my hand but that I am, through His forgiveness, made fit by His grace through faith into His hand:  “Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49: 16a).  His hands still marked by the nails of His crucifixion which is our salvation. 

The Lord  the Master,  dies instead of the servants

In place of the debtors, the Faithful One; 

The Physician dies for the good of the patient; The Shepherd rescues His sheep,

The King dies for the sins of His subjects;

The Peace-maker for the warriors;

The Creator dies for His creation;

God Himself wins man’s salvation!

What now should the servant, the debtor,

the sick one, the sheep, the nation, the multitude do? What should the creatures, mankind, do?

In love extol his Redeemer!

(from Lutheran Pastor and Professor Johann Gerhard’s An Explanation of the History of the Suffering and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ (published 1663)
“Either I determine the place in which I will find God, or I allow God to determine the place where He will be found. If it is I who say where God will be, I will always find there a God who in some way corresponds to me, is agreeable to me, fits in with my nature. But if it is God who says where he will be, then that will truly be a place which at first is not agreeable to me at all, which does not fit so well with me. That place is the cross of Christ. And whoever will find God there must draw near to the cross in the manner which the Sermon on the Mount requires. That does not correspond to our nature at all; it is, in fact, completely contrary to it. But this is the message of the Bible, not only the New Testament but also the Old. (Is. 53!) In any case, Jesus and Paul understand it in this way — that the cross of Jesus fulfills the Scriptures of the Old Testament. The entire Bible, then, is the Word in which God allows himself to be found by us. Not a place which is agreeable to us or makes sense to us a priori, but instead a place which is strange to us and contrary to our nature. Yet, the very place in which God has decided to meet us.”  Pr. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)

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