Friday, April 6, 2012
What Wondrous Love
During my walk this morning I tried to get a picture of a tree that might remind me of the Cross. Nothing was right on, but out of 42 pictures I chose this tree with its curved and crooked branches and the calm, blue lake behind. I remember the Stations of the Cross that a friend painted for a church on the island of Anguilla. They all had the sea in the background even though there was no sea visible from Calvary. It brought the Cross into the lives of a people surrounded by water and reminded me of the new life flowing from the Crucified Savior.
In John's Gospel the Cross is a royal throne from which Jesus reigns, more a sign of triumph than of suffering. There is no crying out, as in Mark and Matthew. Very much in control, Jesus creates the community of his followers by giving Mary and the Beloved Disciple to one another. His words, "I thirst" have always made me think of his longing for all the world to be his. And when he says "It is finished," he expresses his total satisfaction that he has completed the work the Father has given him to do.
"Then he bowed his head and handed over the spirit." "Handed over" is the literal meaning of the Greek verb. With his head bowed toward the tiny family of his followers he hands over to them the Spirit. That Spirit flows down from Calvary and down through 2,000 years, making me one with that family of followers.