This piece was written as a contribution to the True and Noble Lent Devotional Series
I didn’t grow up in a liturgical church tradition. I’ve discovered the beautiful richness of Church history as I’ve grown older. Last year I attended my first Ash Wednesday service with an accompanying invitation for reflection through the stations of the cross. Each station caused my heart to expand and beat a bit faster as I pictured the road of suffering that Jesus walked and imagined the faces He encountered along the way.
I knew where that road led and what was to come, yet fresh tears stung my eyes as I stood at station twelve- the crucifixion. But I wasn’t ready for station thirteen. I literally had to catch my breath. The scene in front of me brought on a physical reaction, causing my hand to cover my mouth, holding in the cry that wanted to escape. It was the image of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and three others with her, cradling His broken, bruised and lifeless body. I tried to imagine the darkness of that hour, I’m trying still, but I know my comprehension does not come close to touching the deep sorrow. The one they thought would save them, their long awaited King, was lying dead in their arms.
It was the space in between: between death and resurrection life. The space full of pain, doubt and hopelessness.
What we now know, but what they did not, was the hope waiting in the days ahead; a promise no one could have fathomed. History changed forever - theirs, yours and mine. We are now able to tell a different story because we know the ending.
Many of us know the space of in between all too well. The world is not as it should be. Let us cling to the promise that tomorrow holds and keep the end in mind.
“Because by thy Holy Cross, thou hast redeemed the world.”
It is finished.