Holy Week: The Power of Pain

Sometimes I live in the city. Sometime I live in the town.

Sometimes I get a great notion to jump into the river and drown.

Irene, good night. Irene, good night. Good night Irene.

Good night, Irene, I’ll see you in my dreams.

This song of Huddie Ledbetter sings a human soul’s pain, born out of love. Pain will now soon come to Christ Jesus.
He’s taken in, with every step on his feet on earth, the pain, sickness, hatred, suffering of so many, including the earth herself. He’s been forming the cross in his own body, soul, and forces of life since the baptism, carrying that cross and its increasing weight for 3 years.
And now it will soon reach the skull called Golgotha. Now the physical pain of the slapping, beating, scourging, the thorns; the soul pain of the hatred, mocking, ridicule; the soul pain of the lostness and soul-shattering of his disciples, the agony of his mother, it will all reach the power of the point of these nails being driven through his hands and feet, the pain of the weight of his own body, hanging on the cross.
And all this was his great aim, his conscious choice, his free deed of love.  All this was the fulfilment of his human/divine task: taking in, gathering, focusing ALL THIS PAIN. Like a magnifying glass can gather the rays of the sun into one single focus, turning gentle sunlight into fire, so pain, gathered and focused by his all-embracing love, turns his suffering, his passion into life-creating, death-overcoming POWER.
That was his GREAT NOTION. Pain, so gathered, turns love into resurrection. Love so focused turns Passion into Easter.
Since that deed, that great notion, Christ’s deed of life and death on Golgotha, lives and works in our humanity, creating into times to come. And all pain, all suffering can now be baptized, Christened. The Love of Christ in us can take it and turn it into healing, health-bringing, death-overcoming Power. Grace-full Power.
What an amazing GREAT NOTION to take into our thinking,write deep in our hearts, re-member ever anew into our humanity, sing out with our lives.

by Richard Dancey

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One thought on “Holy Week: The Power of Pain

  1. Thank you, Richard. This blog (part of your sermon last week) lays out the dynamic of Golgotha beautifully. But, I don’t understand what death-overcoming power means. What was death before Golgotha? Resurrection had been an idea for thousands of years in Hinduism. I’ll continue to chew on your thoughts for a few years………….

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