‘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 had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they placed the written charge against him; this is Jesus, the king of the jews.’ Matthew 27: 32-37. NIV
‘From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachtani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’). When some of those standing there heard this, they said, ‘He’s calling Elijah.’ Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. ‘Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.’ And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. Matthew 27: 45-50. NIV
It is a beautiful day in Carbondale, Illinois. I enjoyed a lovely walk on the campus of SIUC and relished the freedom to do so in our world’s time of great suffering due our 2020 pandemic. It is pay-day Friday…and millions of hard working people are not only not able to draw their paycheck…but they also have no cash reserves…not due to poor planning but because that they require every penny, and then some, that they earn to pay the rent and keep the lights on and buy a little groceries. Thousands are lining up at Food Banks and Pantry’s…and they are running out of food.
Over 6 million Americans applied for unemployment this week…and the total stands at over 10%, thus far. Our government has an over 2 trillion dollar stimulus program and the promise of $1,200 dollar checks.. that are yet to be sent to most of our citizenry…but that does nothing for today…when the cupboard is bare…and the children are crying from hunger…
The light in the darkness is the love that we see exhibited by our fellow travelers on this rocky and winding path of life. The Biblical path of Christ included his betrayal and his brutal death. The scripture says that the common people heard him gladly. When I look for Jesus…I look for him in his creation. I have never had a vision of angels nor a verbal conversation with God…where I heard his voice with my ears…but I have seen his love in the care and concern of my brothers and sisters in the human family.
When I see the nurses and doctors and medial professionals, risk their live to save ours…I see Jesus.
When I see the grocery store cashiers and warehouse men and women, who provide for our health and ensure that we do not starve…I see Jesus.
When I see the precious housekeeping staffs, the unseen and unheralded heroes of our sanitation safety…who’s work protects us all from the Coronavirus…I see Jesus.