Isaiah 53: 4-7
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
John 1: 29
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
Please take time to reflect on the image below.
Meditations from our Preachers
From Vanda Chittenden
When Jesus is on his way to Golgotha, he has to carry his own cross; his own form of execution. Its huge, made of wood, and he is already weak because of his crown of thorns. So it makes sense that he would fall. But I think the more powerful image is the fact that he gets back up. This year, we have had times when we get tired and don’t want to continue on. Jesus gets it; He understands when we get tired and fall because it happened to him too. The first blow seemed like the hardest. The first time we were not successful as a community or felt like we weren’t successful at work, it really takes a toll on us and keeps us down for a bit. But the fact of the matter is that we got back up and pushed on. We adapted and found ways to move forward. Sometimes when we fall, we feel the weight of absolutely everything on our shoulders and feel like how is it impossible to continue. BUT we are a lot stronger than we think we are, even when we are nervous because we already somewhat know the outcome. So although this journey of Jesus is very taxing and hard, he knows that the outcome is for the greater good. In this past year of the pandemic, I think this image of Jesus should carry us through. We might fall and it is probably going to be very very hard, but our journey is for the greater good and hopefully that can carry us through.
Jesus, teach us your humility today.
Fill us with your Spirit so that, in our community and work places,
we become conduits of your self-giving love.
Through your example, may our weaknesses make us stronger,
more accepting of the weaknesses of others, and increasingly humble.
Your love for me gave You strength to rise from Your fall.
Look upon all those whom the world considers unprofitable servants
and give them the courage to be more concerned as to how they stand before You.
When Jesus falls, he is crushed by the weight of our sins, not his own. The weight of our impulsiveness, our greed, our need to seize control of our lives which so often results in us becoming unbalanced, careening out of control, hurting ourselves and those around us. Everyone we encounter has had this experience of falling down. Reflect on the love that drove the Son to enter our weak and vulnerable condition, that drove him to skin his knees for us.
What burden causes you to stumble as you follow Jesus?
Are you ready to ask Jesus to bear it away – to give him control of your life?
To help you see and love others as Jesus sees and loves them?
Lord Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the world,
give us the strength to persevere when we falter.
Teach us the compassion to show others patience and mercy.
Inspire us to rise up stronger each time we fall.
We pray this through Christ, our Lord.