Sunday, 17 April 2011

Thank you for the cross my friend

"And once again I look upon the cross where You died, I'm humbled by Your mercy and I'm broken inside."
Matt Redman: Jesus Christ (Once Again)

I have blogged on worship songs before, and this one touches my innermost being much more than most. Even though this is only Palm Sunday, Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, I am already conscious of the cross.

I suppose this is because on Palm Sunday the church joins in and cries "Hosanna" with the crowds of the day. The church waves her palm branches, and parades around the grounds singing "All Glory Laud and Honour" (badly!). It's so easy to join in the crowds welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem. It's so much harder for me to accept that I betray, deny, and scream out "crucify" with the same crowds later in the week.

Holy Week moves me to tears. I am truly "broken inside" as I stand at the foot of the cross on Good Friday.

Even though this year, with a child who is too young to cope with most of the Holy Week liturgy, my only observation comes through singing Stainer's Crucifixition on Good Friday, the cross is uppermost in my mind this week. 

It was during the vigil on Maundy Thursday 15 years ago that I claimed this faith as my own and truly said "Yes Lord, I believe". Not "I believe because that's how I have been brought up" or even "I believe because I trust my parents to decide for me" Purely and simply "This is my faith, Yes Lord I believe"

So my question this Holy Week comes from Stainer's Crucifixion

"Behold Me and see: pierced thro' and thro' with countless sorrows, and all is for you;
For you I suffer, for you I die.
Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?"


  1. Holy Week is likely to be a strange event in the minds of children, but this is perhaps the time when they can learn by 'doing'. Today we 'did' palm crosses and processions, Friday they might 'do' the making of Easter gardens with Sunday being a 'doing' of celebration in chocolate eggs. Lots of doing, lots of implicit learning. I shall write on this myself I think.

    'All ye who pass by' - such potent words that judge we the bystander. Today we stand back and watch the fuss of the crowds, standing back later to watch torture and vile execution. In part we have no choice in the context of historical events, but in their meaning we can be in the fray. I wrote a post today that attends to a way that we become part of the jeering crowds in our own time, or the pious bystander tutting. This death is nothing if in our by-standing we learn nothing. We add its value or strip it, I think. Hapless hero? We make Jesus that when we turn away, but he becomes murdered Messiah by our efforts - in small part.

    Enough from me!

    Nice post, mate.

  2. Thanks again David, I really appreciate your comments.

    I remember from childhood, Dad always added in the lifesized (deathsized??) cross into the Good Friday liturgy, and the congregation hammered the nails. Sent a shiver down my spine - very effective.

    I shall be making an Easter garden with my Little Bear this week.

    I have decided we can make it an activity to last the week (filling up holiday time too) by creating the garden on Mon/Tues and adding the crosses on Friday followed swiftly by the tomb and then rolling away the stone on Easter Sunday.