Saturday, April 7, 2012

Behold Thy Mother

mini-sermonette notes from the Community-Wide Good Friday Service at Marble Memorial United Methodist Church on Good Friday

But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

26 When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”

27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

John 19:25-27

Behold. See. Perceive.

At the foot of the cross, on Good Friday, we see one another differently. By the authority of the king of the Jews, soon to be crowned king of all creation, our relationships to one another are re-defined by his love.

Behold. See. Perceive.

Look at John, Mary. He is your son. See him in the light of my love, under the shadow of my cross.

Look at Mary, John. She is your mother. See her in the light of my love, under the shadow of my cross.

Mary, an older woman now. Perhaps 5-10 years beyond the normal life expectancy of 40 in that time. Free with the other women to come and go, no threat to the Romans or the antagonistic leaders in Israel persecuting the Jesus-movement rebels. There with the other women at the cross.

John, perhaps 15 or 16 years old. Was he more courageous than all the other disciples who had fled? Perhaps. But, more likely, still baby faced, not shaving yet. And therefore, like the women, under the radar, free to come and go, no threat to gather a band of rebels after the death of their messianic leader.

A widow woman. A baby faced boy. Made family by their relationship with Jesus.

This is the work of the cross. The love of God redefining, reestablishing relationships, making family where hundreds of generations of human history had broken family apart.

This good Friday, may we hear Jesus’ words on the cross.

Behold. See. Perceive. This is your brother. This is your sister. This is your mother. This is your father. This is your son. This is your daughter.

Behold. See. Perceive. Look beyond the skin and the circumstances and the life history and the class and the culture and bank account balance and the religious background and the education and the clothing and the weathered facades we wear.

Behold. See. Perceive. This human being is your kin because of my love. Love them now, as you would love your own.

This is the work of the cross. This is our commission on Good Friday.

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