The Seven Words – third prayer

Cross3

Today’s Bible passage and an excerpt from it

Read John 19:25 – 27

Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, here is your mother.

More Thoughts for Meditation

This week we are using The Way of the Cross as a contemplative prayer practice. To review, the Way of the Cross is a meditative method to deepen our connection to Christ and to live according to what Christ did for us on the cross. Jesus’ seven statements spoken on the cross offer us a guide to walk closer with him and one another. Today’s emphasis acknowledges the connection we have with each other because of Christ.

It seems legit to ask why we remain on earth after we receive salvation from Jesus for our sins. Yesterday, we remembered the words of the dying man next to Jesus who requested to be part of Jesus’ kingdom after they both died. In that moment, death was inevitable but not a threat to disconnect us from living with God in His kingdom. Jesus told the criminal that he would surely be with him in Paradise – a presumed ethereal place, not on earth. After Jesus’ dialogue with that man, he turned his attention to his mother and dear friend who stood nearby. No doubt, Mary his mother and John his beloved disciple did not want to lose one minute of time with Jesus before he would die – as any cherished family member and friend would do during such a moment. Mary and John shared life so intimately with Jesus on a daily basis and now were watching him die. How would they live life without him? Why didn’t Jesus tell them the same thing He told the repentant criminal? Surely, Jesus could have said to Mary and John, “my death is re-connecting you all to God and so you will also be with me in Paradise today”. Mary and John absolutely believed Jesus to be the Messiah; but now he was dying and leaving them – that was the antithesis of Paradise. Or was it?

It is difficult to understand God’s grand plan of why He keeps us on earth to live out our salvation, still surrounded by suffering and grief. But Jesus’ third statement on the cross offers us a glimpse at the blueprints. When Jesus told Mary that she had a new son and that John had a new mother, he was really telling them how his death was birthing a new kind of family. After his resurrection, he told his disciples how humanity was going to be able to experience and exist within a new connectedness called “the church” (Matthew 16:18). Such connection would be lived on earth as well as in heaven.

Suggestions for Action

Have you ever experienced the loss of someone so dear that you couldn’t imagine how to keep living without them in your life? This could be the death of someone you loved or a broken relationship connection or even the separation of time and space from that person that makes it difficult (seemingly impossible) to stay connected? Use Jesus’ words to Mary and John to know that Jesus is not leaving you alone in your grief. You have been given a sacred family to be connected with at all times, through the Holy Spirit.

Look at yourself in the mirror and pray, and/or pray with a fellow Christ follower: “Woman/man, behold you are part of sacred family. Friend, you are part of a beloved community.”

Have you ever met a fellow Christ follower who has a different skin tone than yours, speaks a different language than you do or live a lifestyle completely different from yours; and yet, as you begin to talk about Jesus with them, you feel an unexplainable connection with them. It may even feel like “home” being with them. Acknowledge that experience as you pray the words that Jesus spoke to Mary and John. Think of someone and pray this for them to know the connection they have with others because of Jesus.

Pray: “Woman/man, behold the connection we have because of Christ. The same Spirit that is in you is in me and that makes us one on earth and in heaven.”

 

Reposted from Circle of Hope Daily Prayer; Water

 

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