Words from the Cross 3

April 7, 2020

Woman, here is your son…

there is your mother.

John 19: 26-27



It costs a lot to give:

it costs more to receive







Opening Meditation


Through excruciating pain

Jesus could reach out

to the needs of his mother

and his dear disciple John.

nailed to the cross and seemingly helpless,

he not only felt their anguish,

but offered healing

for the bitter grief which now engulfed them.


The love that held them

rooted on the spot,

watching him die

must be rechanneled.

Though it was agony to speak,

he found the words

to commit each to the other;

that was how their love for him must be expressed

in the days that lay ahead.


When a loved one is torn from us

and we grieve and are desolate;

point us, Lord,

to others who need our love,

that in giving

we may again be able to receive.




To consider…


  • Are my expectations of my personal family unrealistically high?
  • In addition to my family, who has nurtured me and been ‘family’ to me? What qualities did that person have?
  • How do I feel when others close to me let me down? How do I feel when I let them down?
  • Are there those who would make us uncomfortable if they joined our church?
  • Can a sense of family separate us from God?
  • Is God a parent?



Closing meditation


Mother, here is your son…


For our families,

Where they are open, loving, supportive,

That their joy might be kept safe,

Lord hear us.

Lord graciously hear us.


For our families,

Where they are tense, troubled, fragmented,

Seething with suspicion,

That they may find a way through pain,

Not a path away from it.

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.


For our churches,

Where they risk welcoming the stranger,

Were in language, hospitality,

Evangelism and service,

They employ the imagination rather than the rule book,

That they might be encouraged and surprised by joy,

Lord hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.


For our churches, where they have become introverted,

Suspicious of the stranger,

Obsessed with dead rather than living stones,

Suffocated by tradition,

That they might be redeemed

From the pawnshop of past glory

And removed by the power of the Holy Spirit,

Lord hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.


For ourselves, in this place of worship,

On Sundays surrounded by people

Whose journey we have not travelled,

Whose depth of faith we do not know,

Whose potentials we cannot imagine,

That we might somehow know we belong to each other,

Lord hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.


And before you leave the cross and we vacate this holy place,

If there is one of your family

for whom we should care more fondly,

Direct our gaze to them,

As you turned Mary towards John.



To think about:


  • God’s love does not depend on our attractiveness
  • We offer to God what we can, not what we can’t
  • To believe something is a decision of the intellect; to believe in something is a decision of the heart.
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