'In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth."
~ Jeremiah 33:15
Each day I meet people living with a life-limiting condition. Often being told that they will die within the next six weeks. The words, "You are going to die," immediately remind us of our mortality, but also, are often filled with anxiety.
"I thought I would have more time."
"I haven't even completed my bucket list."
"I am still in shock."
Just some of the many things that I hear. Jesus knows that his life is about to come to an abrupt ending. Mary bathes his feet in perfume. Jesus shares that his body shall be "broken," and that bread shall be the reminder of his woundedness. A cup is lifted, and it suddenly becomes "blood," which will be shed for all of humanity, creating a new covenant for the forgiveness of sins.
I often ask people if they could orchestrate the last day of their life, what would it look like?
Often I hear the person speak of having family and friends surround the person as the person quietly enters into eternal rest.
Rarely do I hear that the person wishes to be publicly beaten, inflicted by nails driven into the body by a mallet, be stripped before a crowd, have their mother watch as people cry out for the person to die, gasp for air, to thirst, and cry out, wondering why no one seems to care, only to finally surrender and die.
Lent is our opportunity to welcome the mystery of Christ within us. It serves as the reminder of our mortality, but also the importance of our own personal journeys of faith. It is a time of solitude, but also, at time for building community. The voice within that speaks to us, and the reminder that each of us are sacred and loved by God.
The final week of Lent is the reminder that our life is a gift and is a time to continuously make the journey to a life that is lived in relationship of Jesus who came, walked among humanity, and died so that the life we live now may be reflective of his life.
The proclamation of the risen Christ must first be greeted by this sacred truth that Jesus must die on the cross.
In the gospel of Matthew, the birth of Jesus was proclaimed, “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” (Matthew 1:23)
Jesus' time is drawing near, and he is "God, still with us" even until our final day.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.