Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Last Word of Jesus

"The Words of Jesus from His Cross"

The world today echoes the last words of Jesus from His cross. There are so many relevant and current examples where people are crying the same thing in the world around us. The need for forgiveness and reconciliation; the desire for the peace of the New Jerusalem; the need for community support and encouragement; the feeling of being defeated and alone in the midst of stress and struggle; the lack of fresh water to drink; the desire to finish and accomplish what needs to be done; and the final surrender when there's nothing else left to do.

I felt moved to write a reflection for this year's Good Friday liturgy, based on the last words of Jesus from the cross, that reflected the contemporary injustices and experiences of pain, grief, hurt and distress. Injured voices need to be heard through the words from the cross; our hurting creation needs to be heard in a world where many are thirsty.

As I wrote the reflection, I wanted to have a hymn that spoke to each of the words from the cross, as well as the overarching theme that they are spoken today and in all time, from generation to generation. These words came to me as a renewed call to hear the voices of Jesus today crying and pleading for all of God's creation, including you and me. Through them, those cries aren't silenced or dismissed, but validated so we can hear them, and respond to them out our faithfulness as disciples of Jesus Christ.

It is set to the tune Melcombe with the meter LM.

If you would like to receive the reflections that go with it, please e-mail me at mark.kinghan@gmail.com

These Words of Jesus from His Cross

Tune: Melcombe
Meter: LM

Jesus the gospels each record                                     
Profound and holy every word
The sayings of your final hour;
As ages pass lose not their pow’r.

Father forgive what they have done
Impending death of your own Son
They do not know the part they play
Unjust and yet so true today.

In paradise you’ll be with me
A life I promise will be free
Lose not your faith, your trust and hope;
As with each death you learn to cope.

Woman, to you I give a son
Who’ll care for you as I have done.
Relationship of trust and grace
I call you each to now embrace.

My God you have forsaken me
Hanging upon this ghastly tree
I’m all alone as death comes near
The crowds, they mock me as they cheer.

I’m thirsty as my mouth feels dry
In these last moments as I die
I’m parched as water is denied
Throughout the ages I have cried.

All is accomplished, it is done
Good news proclaimed for everyone
My sacred calling is complete
From age to age most bittersweet.

There is no more for me to do
My spirit now I give to you;
These words are spoken ev’ry day
By people caught up in the fray.

The words of Jesus from His cross
Are cried today with so much loss
Reality lived age to age
All the injustice we engage.

Text: copyright, The Rev. Canon Mark Kinghan, 2017. Not to be reproduced or redistributed in any form without the express written permission of the author.

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