Lent Devotions 2012: Friday 9th March

“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.” John 19: 26-27

When Jesus was presented at the temple, 40 days after His birth, Simeon told Jesus’ mother Mary that a sword would pierce through her soul (Luke 2:35). Now, standing at the foot of the cross and watching her son die, Mary must have felt the anguish of that sword. The angel Gabriel had promised that her son Jesus would be great and reign over the house of Jacob forever (Luke 1:32, 33) and yet here He was, dying the most shameful death possible. Mary must have felt as though God had truly abandoned them both.

And yet, in the midst of His suffering, Jesus shows His tender love for His mother, placing her in the care of “the disciple whom he loved”. How often when we are in the midst of suffering do we feel as though God has abandoned us! But He will never leave or forsake us. Through the water of Holy Baptism, we became God’s dear children and members of His body, the church. His love for us is so deep that He gave His only son to die for us, so that we might receive the free gift of life eternal with Him. Just as Jesus cared for His mother, so God also provides care for us – through our families, government, doctors, nurses etc. – and through our Christian brothers and sisters. We are joined together each week at His table when we receive the gifts of His body and blood, which nourish and sustain us. “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16).

Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine!
Never was love, dear King,
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my friend,
In whose sweet praise
I all my days
Could gladly spend.

(LSB 430)