YOU ARE THE PRISONER
2. You are abandoned, left all alone.
Your friends are faithless
— hearts made of stone.
Blood from your crown seeps down on your face. You are abandoned, I am embraced.
3. You are condemned to carry a cross. ‘Guilty’ the verdict — this is the cost: thirty-nine lashes, hung among thieves. You are condemned, and I am reprieved.
4. You are brought down and you are despised, humiliated, dehumanised.
Cruel is your suffering, bitter your cup.
You are brought down, and I am raised up.
5. Let me look closely into your pain,
learn of your suffering, know all your shame. Let me attend to all of your wounds —
Jesus, you'll never suffer alone.
1987. At the heart of the Christian faith is the mystery of Jesus' humiliating death on a Roman gallows. ‘For our sake God made the sinless one into sin, so that in him we might become the goodness of God’ (2 Corinthians 5:21. Jerusalem Bible). ‘He was deep in Jesus' misery’ is how one of Flannery O'Connor's leading characters is described. Should we aim to be like that too? Not in a self-flagellating way, but in sympathy. This is our hero, and fans identify with every single aspect of the one they idolise. Christians can start by looking at the story of Jesus' suffering and death in the gospels. Also at many books, pictures, songs and poems. Once we've identified with Jesus and his story, we might catch glimpses of him anywhere: especially in suffering people, in those who need our help, in those who need us to be Jesus to them.
Last Monday, November 19, I got back home after a 4 week trip, mostly in Queensland.Only possible because of
He's been my driver for the past 7½ years, for trips to Victoria, ACT, NSW and Queensland. He likes to label himself as 'Ray the Roadie', but he's a lot more than that. For the churches & schools I've sung at, we both set up the sound gear - the amps, guitars et al. He then retires to a back seat, while I sing & play. Afterwards, at schools, we take the gear down together. But at churches, he looks after the gear, while I talk with people & sell CDs & books. We get to stay with people most places , & we both love meeting people, enjoying their terrific hospitality.
This trip was his swan-song. I know he's enjoyed the driving & meeting people, but I still don't know how to say thank you. In his modest, self deprecating way, he'd reject the label of 'Servant of Christ', but he's been that for me, & together we've been able to serve people in many places.