A few years ago, I subscribed to a liturgical arts publication called Behold: Arts for the Church Year. In the 2014 Lent edition, there is a photograph of a bronze statue of Jesus on the cross. The photograph is only of Jesus’ feet. The bronze is turning green. It is what bronze does over time.
As we prepare for Holy Week and the events that happen between Hosanna and Hallelujah, I invite you to pick up your Bible, find a picture of Jesus on the cross, and spend some time meditating on the crucifixion and resurrection.
As you begin, take a slow deep breath clearing all other thoughts so that you can focus on this special time with God. Pray that you may feel God’s presence surrounding you. Then, read John 19:16b-30.
Now, in the spirit of prayer, ask yourself these questions: How do you see the crucifixion? Are you standing at the feet of Jesus looking up? Do you observe from a distance, maybe as far away as you can get? Do you stare into the face of Jesus… or look down to his feet… or look away, trying to pretend there is no crucifixion at all? Talk with God about this.
Now, imagine that your image of the crucifix is turning green, the color of spring, the color of new life. Now, what does it mean to you? In your mind’s eye, try to see it. How does the image of a dying man, hanging on a cross, turning green affect your interpretation of the crucifixion?
Read John 19:41-42, 20:11-18.
Imagine again, Jesus on the cross turning green. Does the green on the crucifix remind you of a garden, any garden? Can you see yourself walking in that garden? Do you see Jesus there?
My photograph from Behold is titled, “Some Believe in Green.” Do you believe in green? Talk with God about this.
Lord, help me believe in new life. Amen.
It is a joy to be one of your pastors.