Tumbling in the Sand
Text: Luke 23: 26-49 (following other reflections on Luke 22:39-71 and Luke 23:1-24)
Do you hear that?
Do you hear the silence? The stillness? The heaviness?
It seems the proper response to this —To tragedy
And yet, more than tragedy—as though this happened by accident
or by some random act of injustice—
No, this is our inevitable betrayal of life.
The inevitable betrayal that the voices that cry “crucify!” will prevail.
When faced with the presence of God enfleshed
when faced with the cry for peace and healing and justice and life—life abundant
we will nail it to the cross.
We will choose “crucify!”
And now, in this darkness
we remember this and mourn.
Not because it only happened on that cross so many years ago
—though, indeed—what blood is on human hands for killing God’s own son?
What blood is on our hands?
But, the thing is that blood from the cross
is mingled with many more crucifixions
the destruction of lives
by violent means, by neglectful means, by unjust means
and their cries are drowned out
by the shouts of “Crucify”
the taunts of leaders hungry for power
and maybe the numb shock of the violence of it all.
And so, it seems the response to all of this should be silence, mourning, pondering, watching and wondering … all the while praying for salvation, for the healing of the world.
And tomorrow that is what I will do—I will bake bread
and plant seeds
and listen for the cry of my heart and the cry of the world
and the whisper of God
as I await rising.
But before that, before we turn to waiting for Easter’s coming dawn
We need to pause at the foot of the cross.
We need to feel the darkness around us.
We need to watch the crowds beating their breast
We need to hear Jesus’ final words
And we need to notice——to notice where God is.
Because in the midst of the darkest hour
In the midst of suffering and death
In the midst of horrifying violence
There is God—hanging on the cross
There is God—the one bleeding
There is God—the one bearing the wounds of the world
There is God—crying out forgiveness, mercy, and hope.
Featured Image: White Crucifixion by Marc Chagall, 1938.