My Mocking Voice: Participating in the Crucifixion

Occasionally, God gives me a song. The song varies, but God gives me a verse or a chorus that continually fills my mind and soul. One time the song was “From Sunrise to Sunset.” It’s is a catchy tune, “From sunrise to sunset help me not forget all that you do for me. From sunset to sunrise help me keep my eyes upon your glory.” What a good song to have in your head! God has placed a different song in my head during these final days of Lent: “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.” The title of the song sounds like a fun song to have in your head, but this is the verse that God has graciously given me, “Behold the man upon a cross, my sin upon his shoulders, ashamed I hear my mocking voice, call out among the scoffers.”

Sometimes churches will strip the altar before Easter.  They may do it on the Sunday before or Good Friday or in our case at Asbury at the end of our chapel service on Wednesday.  Now, I’ve seen this done before, and I have participated in it.  In the stripping of the altar, all of the symbols of the church will either be covered up in black cloth or simply taken away.  So, the altar cross is covered, the offering plates are taken away, the candles are removed.  A professor told me at his church that the final act is a dramatic closing of the large pulpit Bible as if proclaiming, we have closed the word of God.  On Wednesday, something dramatic happened.  The symbolic meaning of the stripping of the altar really hit home.  At the Seminary, we have a candle that is always burning to symbolize the light that is present in the world.  JD Walt, our Dean of the Chapel, made a point of this when we matriculated.  So, on Wednesday, a fellow seminary student walked slowly to the cross, blew it out, took it away, and walked through the sanctuary.  Her slow tarry was intentional, and her weeping face was authentic.  She blew out the Light of the World.  At this time, darkness was winning.  “Ashamed I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers.”

When I was in high school, I sang in the church choir.  I always enjoyed our Easter Cantata’s.  We would go through the journey of the Passion week in song, and always sing joyfully when we got to the resurrection.  There would be narrators who would fill in the gaps where the songs didn’t go.  One year, the choir was to be the voice of the crowd and we were to be part of that angry mob that yells “Crucify him, crucify.”  Try it sometime with a group of friends, yelling out “crucify, crucify him.”  It’s heart-breaking, sorrowful, and sobering.  One member of the choir was named John.  He was a bigger guy with a deep, bass, booming voice.  During our rehearsals and then our performance, he said something that made me laugh then and cry now.  He said, “Crucify him, crucify the bum!”  His voiced and words carried throughout the sanctuary.  “Crucify the bum.”  What a word used to describe the King of the Universe, a bum.  “Ashamed I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers.” 

I have been contemplating my part in the crucifixion of Jesus.  It is sobering.  To think that it was Christ’s love for me.  The whole me: the part I let the world see, the part I let a few see, and the part I let no one see, Christ died for.  Yet today, I continue to crucify Jesus all over again.  When others hear Jesus’ message about love and then feel my wrath, I crucify Jesus.  When others hear Jesus; message about holiness and then see my selfishness, I crucify Jesus.  When others hear Jesus’ message about grace, and then not hear me say “I forgive you,” I crucify Jesus.  “Ashamed I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S.  “It’s only Friday, Sunday is coming!”

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1 Comment

Filed under Life Lessons, Thoughts on Life with God

One response to “My Mocking Voice: Participating in the Crucifixion

  1. Very worthwhile, well I just wanted some songs and also got your blog post. An extra comment or feedback i would want to give is always that this theme is rather boring therefore you really need to work with it but devices I fine.

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