To help us journey with Jesus towards the cross, each day this week I will post a scripture to read, a face from the journey of the cross on which to reflect, a prayer to pray, and a practice or suggested discipline to carry out.
Read the Scriptures:
Reflect on a Face of the Cross:
“This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too” (Luke 2:34-35). For years Mary must have pondered Simeon’s words. She must have thought about the sword, how it would pierce, and when it would strike. But most of all, as a mother, she must have thought about the prophesied pain of her firstborn Son. Yes, He was God in the flesh, bigger than life, but He was also hers.
At the foot of the cross when the sword finally fell and its point finally pierced her soul, how did Mary respond? Did she reach up to touch Jesus’ face? Did she try to wipe His brow? Did she stand as close as she could, offering what relief she could? Or did she have to look away? And as she heard His cries, did she think on His first cry? Did she long to hold Him once again in her arms?
In the midst of all the uncertainties, we know one thing for sure – Mary stayed. When it would have been easy to run from her pain, Mary stayed by Jesus’ side.
It is in the very midst of her pain that Mary shows us where to turn. When the sword pierces our soul, she shows us that we, too, can stay at the foot of the cross. For no matter how hard it is to remain, when all circumstances tell us to flee, the cross is the only place we find true comfort and strength.
We dread the swords of life that pierce our souls. But, like Mary, show us the only place for our pain is at the foot of the cross. By her suffering Son’s side is where we find the mercy, grace, peace, and surrender needed to carry on.
In Jesus’ Name we pray, amen.
Take an extra fifteen minutes today of solitude. Go for a walk in a park or close the door to your office or bedroom. Think about the specific sorrows and suffering you are carrying, and then prayerfully bring them to the foot of the cross where our only true comfort is found. Linger in Christ’s Presence at the foot of the cross, and draw on the comfort and strength He alone provides.
For more encouragement throughout the week, you can find me on Instagram, @baker.susannah.