As I did the cutting of this block for our churches’ Lenten service I wanted to show our Savior’s struggle, the agony the loss. I wanted you to feel “boxed” in with nowhere else to look. Look! There is your Jesus! But you can’t see his face because the shadow of the cross blocks your view. Yet, as you gaze at these lines and ink, even though 2,000 years passed, you are still a spectator. You can still see his poor hands torn, and claw like as he attempts to move forward. But his body betrays him and he stumbles. What do you do? You and I like many others merely watch as he falls on the path.
John Chrysostom wrote, “When we suffer anything for Christ’s sake, we should do so not only with courage, but even with joy. If we have to go hungry, let us be glad as if we were at a banquet. If we are insulted, let us be elated as though we had been showered with praises. If we lose all we possess, let us consider ourselves the gainers. If we provide for the poor, let us regard ourselves the recipients. Do not think of the painful effort involved, but the sweetness of the reward; and above all, remember that your struggle are for the sake of our Lord Jesus.”
Dear God, please allow this journey of Lent to transform us. Whenever we encounter suffering we will recall how you suffered first for us. Whenever we come face to face with loss, we will remember how you gave everything for us. Whenever we stumble, when we want to turn away give us the courage and faith to move one step further remembering your journey to the cross. Amen.