Lent: A Time for Reflection


Saturday, March 28, 2015

If you’re a mother, I’m sure you can relate to Mary, the mother of Jesus. He was her beloved Son. If you can recall those first stirrings of life in your womb, you know the special bond that happens between a mother and a child before life outside the womb even begins. I can imagine Mary placing her hand on her swollen abdomen when Jesus began to reveal Himself, stirring inside His mother’s body, kicking and turning. It’s a special feeling, drawing mother and child closer each day.

In Day 34 of Adam Hamilton’s book, 40 Days of Reflection, the author reflects on John 19. “From the time she felt the first stirrings of life in her womb, their souls were intertwined. As she held him in her arms, she loved him more than she had ever loved anyone in her life. As he grew, so did her love for this child she had brought into the world. He was a gift from God.”

As she stood at the foot of the cross, I wonder if Mary remembered the words of Simeon, the old man who had spoken these words to her when she and Joseph brought Jesus for circumcision when He was eight days old. Simeon had been waiting for this very day. Even though his eyesight was dimming, he offered these prophetic words found in Luke 2:34-35:

“This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

I’m sure she not only recalled them, but she finally understood Simeon’s words. Standing by while your son was crucified and listening to the taunts of the crowd—would cause any mother unbearable pain. So much more, I’m sure, for the mother of Jesus.

But just when she thought she couldn’t stand anymore, her beloved son gazed at her and said, “Woman, this now is your son.” Turning to the disciple, John, Jesus said, “This now is your mother” (paraphrase of John 19:26-27).

Hamilton says, “This scene at the cross is a call for us to follow Jesus’ example in caring for our mothers, but it is more than that. It is a reminder of the sacrifice and suffering Mary made for us and for our salvation. No human being, aside from Jesus himself, did more to bring about our salvation than Mary. She bore the Christ Child, nurtured him, prayed for him, worried over him. She suffered more than any other human being as she watched her son tortured and crucified. The price of our salvation was not only the suffering and death of Jesus, but also the agony and pain of his mother.”

Reflect today on John 19:25b-27, recalling how Jesus cared for His mother. Let it be a reminder for those of us whose parents are still alive and remember our responsibility to take care of them when they need us.

Read the following scripture today as you continue on this 40-day lent journey: John 19:25b-27.

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