Read John 19:16b-30.
So heres Jesus, Mary, the Beloved Disciple, at the cross. Why is Jesus saying this at the cross? Is this his last will and testament? Is this the final request of a dying man? Did he just happen to remember that someone needs to take care of mother? Recall everything Jesus has said before ...
At the cross, Jesus is calling on his disciples to have the same sort of friendship that he had for them
I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. (16:20)
Today the rest of the world is celebrating the cherished concept of motherhood. The rest of the world is giving flowers to mom, the rest of the world is going to take mom out to eat, the rest of the world is giving mom a card that says just the right thing, the rest of the world is serving mom breakfast in bed. We can do what the rest of the world does. Theres nothing wrong with it. Its nice. Its kind.
But we are also a people who know what it means to stand at the cross. We are a people who begin worship not in the filtered glow of a Hallmark Mothers Day ad. Our worship is not just a sentimental embrace of the traditional ideas our culture cherishes.
We can do more than take our own sentimental values and ask heaven to sprinkle magic Bible dust on it.
We take our most cherished traditional ideas like motherhood, fatherhood, childhood, family and we place them in the shadow of the cross and the light of Christ reveals more than we can imagine.
At the cross ... We have been given a message and resources that the rest of the world just doesnt have. What the rest of the world cannot do very well, especially at a time like this, is name the pain and shame that is very real ... realities the rest of the world would prefer to forget ...
Can I say this? Can we talk about this? Church we have to! We must! We are the people who dare to stand at the cross.
At the cross ... We stand boldly in the presence of pain or shame and name it.
At the cross ... Jesus is speaking in the presence of the shame and pain.
At the cross ... Pain gives way to new life and shame is changed to new hope.
At the cross ... Relationships are created that cannot be created anywhere else.
At the cross ... A woman who is losing her son gains a new family.
At the cross ... A disciple who is losing his teacher becomes a son.
At the cross ... Your shame may be covered over by the blood of Jesus.
At the cross ... Your pain and sorrow has been heard by the crucified one. He will not turn against you.
Mary, the Beloved Disciple, and the other women are going to worship soon. They will lead the worship. Peter who betrayed Christ will be there too, but he will not lead the worship. Thomas who doubted will be there, but he will not lead the worship. Judas will not even be there. The ones who will lead the worship will be those who stood at the cross and feared that their pain and grief would overwhelm them. They are the ones who heard every word he said at the cross.
Can we worship with them at the cross? Psalm 22 I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. (16:20)
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