Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Before the Cross - Third Week of Lent

The crucifix is evocative. Evoking what? Shame. Repentance. Grace. Love. Sacrifice. Salvation. Joy.
All of the above?

My daughter encountered this stirring crucifix, a wooden carving, in the medieval village of Gradara, Italy, near the Adriatic Sea. What stirs within you...standing before the Cross of Christ?

Holy Father, Creator God,

We stand at the Cross with conflicting emotions.

We rejoice that you reach out to us through your Son, Jesus Christ.
But we stand solemnly to confess and to ask that you forgive our sin.

Let’s make that my sin, not someone else’s failures or mistakes.

From the Prayers of Confession in the Methodist Hymnal…

I ask your forgiveness for what I have done, for what I have left undone. (from #890)

I have followed too much the devices and desires of my own heart.
(from #891)

I have not lived by faith. I have resisted your Spirit. I have neglected your inspiration. Forgive what I have been and in your spirit direct what I shall be.
(from #892)

Lord, may I never underestimate the insidious nature of sin - my sin.
But never let me underestimate the power of love - your love.

Before the Cross, I pray for your grace and I rejoice in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Photo credit: Melissa Habel