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New Family

March 30, 2021

“Woman, here is your son. Here is your mother. John 19:26-27

Last night I had the privilege of offering four spoken meditations during the Kontras Quartet’s performance of Franz Joseph Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Christ at Grace. What a marvelous evening! This concert was cancelled last year, as were so many other things. Of course, this year was different. There were only two narrators, myself and Dr. Jill Peláez Baumgaertner, whose meditations were transcendent. It was such a blessing to hear Kontras play this piece in person! But it was also a blessing to the many who joined us via livestream. You can view the concert here.

Since we only had two narrators (wanting to minimize the number of people present) we repurposed meditations from past years, with a few new ones for this year. Here’s the meditation I prepared for last night:

No! No, she must have cried with broken heart. Not this. Long ago she had pondered in her heart the mysteries of this Son, the Savior of the World who slept in swaddling clothes. To see him now, her Jesus, on the cross. How would she go on?

No! No, he must have cried through broken dreams. Not this. Years ago, he had dropped his nets and left behind his old life, following this teacher who offered living water, brought sight to the blind, and called Lazarus back from death. To see him now, his Jesus, on the cross. How would he go on?

None of us can face grief alone. Not for long. It is a wave that will overwhelm us, again and again, slowly drawing us under.

From the cross, Jesus makes sure that grief need never be a solitary journey. In his death, he creates community. Mothers find new sons. Brothers and sisters are created where once there was only alienation. Together, we go on. Hand in hand, we go on.

With words of grace, Jesus creates a new family of God, with room enough even for you and for me at the sprawling picnic in the Kingdom’s capacious yard. Gathered around the Lamb. Bound in a common story. Prodigal no more.

We are drawn together by his death, gifted to one another as help in times of need. And together, as family, we will welcome back this Son, this Brother, in the great mystery of the third day.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of hope, in the midst of our darkest moments, you draw us together into your family. Help us to to fulfill your purpose of living as gifts for one another. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: Poster for The Seven Last Words of Christ.

From → COVID-19, Lent/Easter

One Comment
  1. Irmgard Swanson permalink

    Thank YOU for reprinting one of your meditations. They all were so thoughtful and meaningful. We really felt blessed to hear them and to hear the Kontras Quartet last night.

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