getting out the Word

the sunday of the passion

the PRAYER …

Everlasting God, in your endless love for the human race you sent our Lord Jesus Christ to take on our nature and to suffer death on the cross. In your mercy enable us to share in his obedience to your will and in the glorious victory of his resurrection, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING …

Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

Mark 14:1-15:47

the DEVOTION …

I started this devotion about a month ago. For holyWeek. Needless to say, time – and the devotion – got away from me. But I didn’t want to walk away from this one. You see, about halfway through Lent, I came across something that changed the way I see things. A quote from Michael Novak. Roman catholic. Philosopher. Journalist. Novelist. Diplomat. (And, by coïncidence, from my hometown!) “Love,” he writes, “isn’t a feeling of happiness; it’s a willingness to sacrifice.”

That quote came to mind as I read palmSunday’s Prayer of the Day. “In your endless love, you sent Christ to take on our nature and to suffer death on the cross.” Take on our nature! Suffer death on the cross! Nothing about sin! Or confession! Or, even, forgiveness! Just love! Love and the willingness to become human! Love and the willingness to sacrifice, to suffer!

Love – endless love – isn’t an in-spite-of. It’s not an even-though. Love’s choosing to be with the ones you love! Love doesn’t hold back! Waiting for them to become something different, something more. Love doesn’t let go. Waiting for them to come to us! Love denies expectations, sets aside comforts and convenience, and goes! No matter! And the goodNews is … that’s, exactly, what god does! Exchanges heaven for earth! Swaps divine for human! Not because of sin! Or confession! Or, even, forgiveness! But, simply, because that’s what love does!

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