I was asked to give a reflection on one of the stations of the cross this Easter. Little did I know what was in store for me. I was plunged into reflecting about the prophetic words Jesus spoke as he comforted the weeping women.
I bring to light what stood out to me and has stayed with me as I pondered the scripture.
From the Gospel according to Luke. 23:28-31
Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us’. For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
It’s really intense that Jesus says… ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore…’ The emphaticness of this is strong enough to stir one to fear, and this is meant to be comforting? What was Jesus meaning?
God as comforter is spoken throughout the bible many times. In Psalm 23 we hear… “Even when I go through the valley of death, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.” A rod and a staff doesn’t sound that comforting to me! Comforting is actively encouraging and nudging along in the right direction. Jesus is wanting to grow our confidence in our capacity to bear trials. He prophesies here that hard days are ahead for his people, war, disease, famine. Jesus urges the women… “do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”
This Jesus encounter emphasises the importance for us to acknowledge our troubles and not fall into despair. He wants to turn their weeping and wailing into a mission that is united with his desires and divine plan for all humankind. He wants them to be overcomers of trials to be prepared for the kingdom work that is ahead for them. He is inviting them and us to profound hope.
Jesus gives purpose to our every pain and grief. He is showing us here that every time we feel like we’ve lost something it’s okay to feel that loss, but he’s inviting us, never to turn our faces from his presence and keep being nudged along.
The comfort Jesus brings is powerful, it has the power to break generational sin, it knows no boundaries, it builds family, it grows our capacity for love, brings us closer to the fathers heart. The nature of his comfort is so protective.
We never need to hide from him in our pain, or be alone in our sadness or dark moments, but seek comfort from him and the fellowship of each other and build our confidence in his ever present help, and let ourselves be nudged along. Jesus shows us that he is completely unafraid of death, suffering, loss, the cross, he wants us to be too. He has confidence in us to let him take care of us. He is the Good Shepherd.
Jesus, where have I forgotten to ask for your help, and sort comfort in other things?
Dear Jesus, help us to never neglect the comfort you want to give us.
By Carrie McCormack