Cruciform Reflections

Pastor Annabelle P. Markey
Year C – Good Friday
John 18:1-19:42
Community Lutheran Church, Sterling, VA – April 19, 2019


I gaze upon the cross

Human blood and flesh,

Pain, agony, and sorrow,

Disappointment and distress.


Why would you do that?

Why did this transpire?

Why do we move from “Hosanna”

To “Crucify!” like some unholy choir?


These questions upset me

I’d prefer not to admit or ask,

I’m worried that within,

Guilt and shame will take me to task.


I look on you,

I see every pain and wound,

The hurts we lock away

So deeply entombed.


Something stirs within

And casting my eyes aside,

I see the hurts I’ve inflicted –

Oh, how I want to hide!


But there’s something else.

It pulls – no, urges, me onward

A mysterious force that

In my heart strikes a chord.


I focus once more,

Looking with a deeper sight,

That of my heart,

I see both assurance and plight.


In the struggle and labor,

The hills and valleys of life,

There beats a love – a presence

Bringing hope and trust in strife.


Because upon that lonely,

That most disgraceful tree

Even in mortality you unite –

Cosmic God and fragile humanity.


Maybe staring down death

Is where life commences

Like a flower unfolding –

A seed taking its chances.


Art requires failure
Innovation falling on our face
But even there we find
Grace upon grace.


Perhaps the question

As I look at that holy rood,

Is “What in me needs to die,

Where am I to be renewed?”


If the way to freedom

Is through relinquishing power,

If the way to life everlasting,

Is through a grave hour.


Then the cross stands

Not merely as cruel death,

But permeates each day,

With greater meaning and new breath.


From the ashes

Bright light will stream,

Bringing trust, faith and hope

In that near-extinguished dream


Of a world held

In your indescribable embrace,

Of broken people who

Your unending love will taste.


So help me too

My grasping grip to relax,

To be vulnerable, exposed, weak,

To find you and myself in sacrificial acts.


Hold me in the cross,

No matter where I travel,

And may I hold you before me,

Even when all starts to unravel.



2019-04-28T10:22:30-04:00April 19th, 2019|Sermons|0 Comments

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