‘Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?’

‘As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.  They came to a place called Golgotha (which means ‘the place of the skull).’  There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.  When they crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.  And sitting down, they kept watch over him there.  Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.’


‘Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.  Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself!  Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!’  In the same way the chief priests the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.  ‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel!  Let him come down from the cross, and we will believe in him.  He trusts in God.  Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’  In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.’    Matthew 22: 32-44  NIV


‘Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: thy King cometh unto thee: he is just and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.’    Zechariah 9:9   KJV

And, so, we await the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ.

‘Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The Virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.’    Isaiah 7:14   KJV

‘But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come fourth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel;  whose going forth have been from old, from everlasting.   Micah 5:2   KJV

‘Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.  For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.  He will reign on David’s throne and on his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time and forever.  The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.’    Isaiah 9: 5-7   KJV

‘Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet.  All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me.  The divide my clothes and cast lots for my garment.’    Psalm 22:16 – 18   KJV


‘Were you There,’ was likely composed by enslaved African-Americans in the 19th century.  It was first published in Willam Eleazar Barton’s 1899 Old Plantation Hymns.  In 1940, it was encoded in the Episcopal Church hymnal, making it the first spiritual to be included in any major American hymnal.



”Were you there when they crucified my Lord? (Were you there?)

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

O sometimes it causes me to tremble!

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?’


‘Were you there when they nail’d him to the cross?  (Were you there?)

Were you there when they nailed him to the cross?

O sometimes is causes me to tremble! tremble! tremble!

Were you there when they nailed him to the cross?’


‘Were you there when they pierced him in the side? (Were you there?)

Were you there when they pierced him in the side?

O sometime is causes me to tremble! tremble! tremble!

Were you there when they pierced him the side?’


‘Were you there when the sun refused to shine? (Were you there?)

Were you there when the sun refused to shine?

O sometime is causes me to tremble! tremble! tremble!

Were you there when the sun refused to shine?’


We had a lovely, breakfast and lunch with Ron and Ira Kaye today!  It was so enjoyable it has made Easter weekend…complete!

As we were enjoying each other’s company I reflected on the blessings of family and the close bond that we share with them.  We have traveled together, many times, and I am looking forward to many more, enjoyable, sojourns in the future!

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I, as many of you, have pondered why our our country…with all of it’s resources…yet…suffers from an, endemic, depression of spirit?

Why are school and public shootings…becoming so common place in America…that they are no longer major news stories and we seem to be paralyzed in a spirit of complacency as to what can we do to stop the carnage!

President Trump, in his inaugural address spoke of American Carnage…yet there is no greater than our horrible fascination with violence and destruction.

When I was a child and a young man…on Sunday there were several half-hour programs put on by the Methodist and Catholic and numerous churches that depicted christian morales and teachings, in a dramatic content…and this was on network television.

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The majority of American in the 1960’s were members of a church.

If you tour the many historic and beautiful buildings on the campus of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale…and take time to read the bronze plagues in the foyers…you will see that academic leaders, in the 19th and 20th centuries were proud of their religious affiliation and that the notation of that affiliation was high on their resume!

When we realize that our, individual, lives have meaning that is far beyond or insular experience…we have hope and faith and reason to present our best selves!

We truly do not realize how many people are watching us.  Often, in today’s society, we feel like we are living in a vacuum.  Between the screens that we set in front of all day…and the television screen…or the I Pad screen or the laptop screen or the desk top computer screen…we, are told, that we are having social interactions, when in reality….we are, desperately, lonely and hungry for real human contact.



Someone to compare notes with!

Someone to run our thoughts by…both light…and dark!

Someone who, personally, understands our human value…and that we are not a cliche!

A dedication to a faith system…brings peace and confidence and a road map for living.



Rather, Christian, or Jewish or Muslim, or any faith….it represents the desire to live in the will of our creator and friend…and it is a good thing!


Note: Crucifixion photos are courtesy of Google.






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