Lent Devotional Day 42

Day 42
Tuesday, April 4

John 19:26-37

26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

28 After this, knowing that everything was already completed, in order to fulfill the scripture, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was nearby, so the soldiers soaked a sponge in it, placed it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30 When he had received the sour wine, Jesus said, “It is completed.” Bowing his head, he gave up his life.

Witness at the cross

31 It was the Preparation Day and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies to remain on the cross on the Sabbath, especially since that Sabbath was an important day. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of those crucified broken and the bodies taken down. 32 Therefore, the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men who were crucified with Jesus. 33 When they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead so they didn’t break his legs. 34 However, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 The one who saw this has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he speaks the truth, and he has testified so that you also can believe. 36 These things happened to fulfill the scripture, They won’t break any of his bones.[a] 37 And another scripture says, They will look at him whom they have pierced.[b]

The first verse gave me the feeling I had when I spent the last night with my dad in hospice. There is sadness with Jesus’s death and my dad’s death, as in all deaths. What short, meaningful words he spoke to the disciple to take care of his mother and my dad told me to take care of our mom who had Dementia. Both requests/commands were in preparation of their deaths for those who would still be living.

Focusing on Jesus’s death gives us a reflective moment to know sadness will always be a part of our life. That sometimes we are asked to be the disciple who will be there to hold, love and listen to those in our care. The soldiers who pierced his side believed and testified so others could believe. Maybe the soldiers are a reminder (not that we need to pierce Jesus’s side) that we are a testament to Jesus’ words and actions in our everyday lives.

While being a disciple is very important, part of being a disciple is also being a witness. In our busy world, where we want results, groceries, reports, good, services so quickly that sometimes we may forget to really stop and look at the people providing those services. They have lives we do not see, sorrows, joys and our witness may be as small as looking in their eyes and saying thank you. Jesus shows us what it means to prepare to die and all the sorrows, joys, pain and love in life

Is he calling us this Lent to be a disciple or a witness? What does that look like in your life? If you are old like me, you might remember this song from Godspell, ‘Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord’. A good reminder of how do I prepare for the Lord? Is it in a word, song, action, cooking, working, helping or playing? 

Please, help us to see each other every day, share the love, joy and sadness with others. Help us be a witness for you, Lord, in all we do, even when we don’t feel up to it and think we can. Help us to understand all you have done for us and know that you are in our words, actions, songs, love and all that we share with others. Amen.

By Diane Wiegel

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