Bless Christ, Through Whom All Things are Made

Fresco of Christ creating the sun, moon and stars from the St. Paraskevi Shrine, Greenlawn, NY

This is the second of four creation themed worship resource posts in honor of Sunday’s Earth Day rallies and celebrations. For more information on the Christian understanding of the care of creation, click here.

This hymn text was born a decade ago during some quiet time spent with Colossians 1:15-18.

Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. (NRSV)

In this passage, creation is described as an ongoing act. The fullness of Trinity is found: Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer; yet all things are created and are held together through Christ, the Word spoken in creation, the eternal Word made flesh.

This text was selected to be part of a new United Methodist worship resource entitled Worship and Song. Each lyric or liturgy I write feels like a gift. I am excited and thrilled that this gift will be shared with so many.

For a PDF of the hymn as it will appear in the Worship and Song pew edition, click here Bless Christ, Through Whom All Things are Made

Bless Christ Through Whom All Things Are Made
by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
a hymn text based on Col. 1:15-18
Meter 88.88 (LM)
Suggested Tune- POXON

Bless Christ through whom all things are made.
Join seen and unseen in their praise
of One who both creates, sustains
who goes before, in justice reigns.

Who makes the lion and the lamb
the farthest star, the smallest hand
dominions, rulers, and their pow’rs
the steadfast mount, the fleeting hours?

Who made the ore for blood soaked nails?
Who made the thorns and whipping tails?
Who made the sun that would not shine
and made the tree on which Christ died?

Who makes the waters of our birth?
Who makes the dust where we return?
Who makes the way for us to die
and rise to everlasting life?

Bless Christ though whom all things are made.
Join seen and unseen in their praise
of One who both creates, sustains
who goes before, in justice reigns.

© 2000, revised 2009
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.
Lisa is especially interested in collaborating with someone to set this text to music.

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For more information on the use of the scripture translation, art and this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Reflection and Worship Resource: Creation Praise

A Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) in the Portland Japanese Garden. Photo by Jeremy Reding via Wikimedia Commons.

On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day rallies were held in America. Many mark this day as the birth of the modern environmental movement. Public and political awareness from these rallies led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of legislation such as the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

As Christians, we understand our calling to care for the earth as originating far earlier than 1970. God empowered humanity to care for creation in sustainable and just ways right from the start. Our care is rooted in the following beliefs:

Ilia Delio, in her book Christ in Evolution, affirms that last point in this way:
The world is created as a means of God’s self-revelation so that, like a mirror or footprint, it might lead us to love and praise the Creator. We are created to read the book of creation so that we may know the Author of Life. This book of creation is an expression of who God is and is meant to lead humans to what it signifies, namely, the eternal Trinity of dynamic, self-diffusive love (Christ in Evolution, p. 62).

The United Methodist Statement on Environmental Stewardship puts it this way:
All creation is under the authority of God and all creation is interdependent. Our covenant with God requires us to be stewards, protectors, and defenders of all creation. The use of natural resources is a universal concern and responsibility of all as reflected in Psalm 24:1: “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.”
Since Earth Day falls on a Sunday this year, this week’s posts will include worship resources for celebrating God, our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. I pray they are helpful to you as you pray, adore, and fulfill your calling to care for God’s creation.

Worship Resource: Creation Praise
ONE VOICE: Psalm 19:1-4a (NRSV)
The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

ALL SINGING
Verses 1 and 2 of Beautiful by Phil Wickham
CCLI Song #5124024

ONE VOICE: Psalm 108:1-4 (NRSV)
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make melody. Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn. I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples, and I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens, and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

ALL SINGING
The remainder of Beautiful by Phil Wickham
CCLI Song # 5124024

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For more information on United Methodist beliefs regarding the natural world, click here.

compilation © 2012 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on use of the art, scripture translation and this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

The Wounds of Christ

John 19:31-34 (NRSV)
Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out.

Extended quote from Dancing Standing Still: Healing the World from a Place of Prayer by Richard Rohr 
The significance of Jesus’ wounded body is his deliberate and conscious holding of the pain of the world and refusing to send it elsewhere. The wounds were not necessary to convince God that we were lovable; the wounds are to convince us of the path and the price of transformation. They are what will happen to you if you face and hold sin in compassion instead of projecting it in hatred.

Jesus’ wounded body is an icon for what we are all doing to one another and to the world. Jesus’ resurrected body is an icon of God’s response to our crucifixions. The two images contain the whole message of the Gospel.

A naked, bleeding, wounded, crucified man is the most unlikely image for God, a most illogical image for Omnipotence (which is most peoples’ natural image of God). Apparently, we have got God all wrong! Jesus is revealing a very central problem for religion, by coming into the world in this most unexpected and even unwanted way. The cross of Jesus was a mirror held up to history, so we could utterly change our normal image of God.

John 20:19-20 (NRSV)
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

Maybe some of our scars won’t follow us into resurrection, I don’t know. But Jesus had scars on his resurrected body. On his hands, on his feet, on his sides. Scars that proved that he lived, and that he loved. Scars that remind me of who he is and how he loves. He let Thomas touch them. Maybe someday he’ll let me touch them.
– Jordyn Osburn, I have stretch marks

The Lord showed his wounds to convince them beyond a doubt that it was not a fantasy or an apparition. A week later he shows his wounds to Thomas. The resurrected body still bore these proofs of his suffering and love. Sixty years later, when John, at Patmos, saw the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, he beheld “a Lamb as it had been slain.” Perhaps our Lord in glory continues to bear the marks of the cross. Perhaps these will forever, as we gaze in glory, remind us of the story of our redemption. – B. W. Johnson

Rather than Thomas should suffer from unbelief, Christ will let him take great liberties. Our Lord does not always act towards us according to his own dignity, but according to our necessity; and if we really are so weak that nothing will do but thrusting a hand into his side, he will let us do it. Nor do I wonder at this: if, for our sakes, he suffered a spear to be thrust there, he may well permit a hand to follow. – Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Evidence of Our Lord’s Wounds

Caravaggio’s painting illumines a point that the Gospel writers are keen to make in the post-resurrection stories of Jesus. They want to make sure we know that the risen Christ was no ghost, no ethereal spirit. He was flesh and blood. He ate. He still, as Thomas discovered, wore the wounds of crucifixion. That Christ’s flesh remained broken, even in his resurrection, serves as a powerful reminder that his intimate familiarity and solidarity with our human condition did not end with his death. Perhaps that’s what strikes me so about Caravaggio’s painting: it stuns the viewer with the awareness of how deeply Christ was, and is, joined with us. The wounds of the risen Christ are not a prison: they are a passage. – Jan Richardson, The Painted Prayerbook

Our scars tell part of the story of who we are, what has mattered to us, what has happened to us, the risks we’ve taken, the gifts we’ve given.  And as we are reminded in the story before us in John’s Gospel, this was surely also so with Jesus, too. Which is why Thomas insisted he needed to see, no more than that, feel the scars in his hands and put his own hand in Jesus’ side to be sure that it was him.  One would think he would have recognized him with from the features of his face or the sound of his voice, but no, for Thomas, Jesus had become something more since that long walk to the cross a week before.  Jesus’ very identity was now defined by the sacrifice he had made in our behalf.  A sacrifice made most visible in those wounds that by then could have only begun to heal. – Janet H. Hunt, Scars and Stories, Doubt and Faith

Isaiah 53:5 (NLT)
He was wounded and crushed for our sins.
He was beaten that we might have peace.
He was whipped, and we were healed!

Only in the context of grace can we face our sin; only in the place of healing do we dare to show our wounds; only with a single-minded attention to Christ can we give up our clinging fears and face our own true nature. – Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart

Jesus invites each one of us, through Thomas, to touch not only his wounds, but those wounds in others and in ourselves, wounds that can make us hate others and ourselves and can be a sign of separation and division. These wounds will be transformed into a sign of forgiveness through the love of Jesus and will bring people together in love. These wounds reveal that we need each other. These wounds become the place of mutual compassion, of indwelling and of thanksgiving. We, too, will show our wounds when we are with him in the kingdom, revealing our brokenness and the healing power of Jesus. – Jean Vanier, Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John

Our wounds and scares become the icons of grace. – Paul Young

With a kindly countenance our good Lord looked in to his side, and he gazed with joy, and with his sweet regard he drew his creature’s understanding into his side by the same wound; and there he revealed a fair and delectable place, large enough for all mankind that will be saved and will rest in peace and in love. -Julian of Norwich

The Anima Christi is a medieval prayer to Jesus in the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. This translation is by Cardinal John Henry Newman.
Soul of Christ, be my sanctification
Body of Christ, be my salvation
Blood of Christ, fill all my veins
Water of Christ’s side, wash out my stains
Passion of Christ, my comfort be
O good Jesus, listen to me
In Thy wounds I fain would hide
Ne’er to be parted from Thy side
Guard me, should the foe assail me
Call me when my life shall fail me
Bid me come to Thee above
With Thy saints to sing Thy love
World without end. Amen.

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Click here, for Steve Garnaas-Holmes meaningful prayer on Thomas’ encounter with the Risen Christ entitled A Prayer to St. Thomas. Also consider his posts entitled, Thomas’ Prayer and The Mark of the Nails

For more quotes and scriptures on Christ’s broken body, click here or click here

For another devotion and original hymn text entitled Tell Me Dear Tree, click here

For another devotion and an original poem entitled The Taste of Death, click here

For another devotion and an original poem entitled You Understand my Pain, click here

Quotes: Easter

Resurrection Morning by JRC Martin

Luke 24:1-6a (NIV)
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!

Easter is about God. It is not about the resuscitation of a dead body. That’s resuscitation, not resurrection. It’s not about the “immortality of the soul,” some divine spark that endures after the end. That’s Plato, not Jesus. It’s about God, not God as an empathetic but ineffective good friend, or some inner experience, but God who creates a way when there was no way, a God who makes war on evil until evil is undone, a God who raises dead Jesus just to show us who’s in charge here. – Will Willimon

Easter says you can put truth in a grave,
but it won’t stay there. ~Clarence W. Hall

1 Corinthians 15:20-22 (NRSV)
Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.

The Resurrection occurred subsequent to the riveting events of the crucifixion and burial of Christ. The fate of the soul of all humanity hung in the balance. Without the cross, there would not be a resurrection. Life after death depended on God’s grace in giving the sinless Son of God as an atonement for sin — yours, mine, the world’s. Our sinfulness was cancelled by His sinlessness; our guilt was absolved by His innocence, our penalty was paid by His sacrifice. And our newness of life was guaranteed by His triumph over the grave and death itself. – Thurman S. Doman, Jr.

Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer;
Death is strong, but Life is stronger;
Stronger than the dark, the light;
Stronger than the wrong, the right.
Faith and Hope triumphant say,
Christ will rise on Easter-Day.
– Phillips Brooks, stanza one of An Easter Carol

1 Corinthians 15:54-57 (NRSV)
When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Easter spells out beauty,
the rare beauty of new life.
~S.D. Gordon

Do not abandon yourselves to despair.
We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.
– Pope John Paul II

Easter Psalm by Steve Garnass-Holmes
God of life made new, made new,
raise me up this day.
Easter morning, dawn in me;
loving Christ, live, new, in me.
Light of new Creation,
spread throughout my soul.
Confident morning of hope and faith,
be my new and only world.

All that would entomb my love,
all fear and pain, all doubt and shame
you have undone with love,
and rolled the stone;
the light of love floods in.
I am set free.
God of love, surpass all possibility;
love be my only power, my deepest trust,
my courage to hope, to gently bless
in the face of all evil and death.

My grave is open, by your grace:
it is open to receive, but cannot hold.
Awaken me, this new-created day,
O God of love, of life.
O anxious soul, still wrapped in death,
come out. Walk free. Walk free.

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For more of JRC Martins’ Biblical Art, click here

For more information on use of the art, scripture translations and this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Reader's Theater: The Easter Story

Scenes from the Life of Mary Magdalene: Noli me tangere (detail) by Giotto di Bondone. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Reader’s Theatre:
The Easter Story

Based on John 20:1-18 (NRSV)
In this setting, you have the option of surrounding the scripture reading with Robert Lowry’s classic Easter hymn Up from the Grave He Arose (United Methodist Hymnal #322).

Click here for a PDF of this script

Play the first eight measures of Up from the Grave He Arose quietly and somberly. Play the same measures again, with a soloist singing or the congregation. Repeat the first 8 measures throughout the scripture reading building volume and tempo.

NARRATOR ONE
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them,

MARY
They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.

NARRATOR TWO
Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in.

NARRATOR ONE
Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

NARRATOR TWO
Then the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet.

TWO ANGELS IN UNISON (NARRATOR ONE AND TWO)
Woman, why are you weeping?

MARY
They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.

NARRATOR ONE
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her

JESUS
Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?

NARRATOR TWO
Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him,

MARY
Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.

JESUS
Mary!

MARY
Rabbouni!

JESUS
Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”

NARRATOR ONE
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,

MARY
I have seen the Lord!

The congregation sings the rest of Up from the Grave He Arose triumphantly, beginning at the refrain (verse 9).

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Adapted from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Up from the Grave He Arose by Robert Lowry.
Public Domain. United Methodist Hymnal #322

Compilation © 2012 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution

For more information on the music, scripture translation, art and the use of this resource in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Christ's Body, Broken for You- Part 2

Miserere by Georges Rouault

Isaiah 53:3-5 (NLT)
He was despised and rejected — a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed!

Matthew 26:26 (NRSV)
While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”

A dread and marvelous mystery we see come to pass this day
He whom none may touch is seized
He who looses Adam from the curse is bound
He who tries our hearts and inner thoughts is unjustly brought to trial
He who closed the abyss is shut in prison
He before whom the powers of heaven stand with trembling, stands before Pilate
The Creator is struck by the hand of a creature
He who comes to judge the living and the dead is condemned to the cross
The Destroyer of hell is enclosed in a tomb. – Byzantine liturgy

So if you’re not too proud, too busy, or too old,
I will throw you My forgiveness
As I did when men like you
Were coldly nailing Me to the splintered stake of death.
My forgiveness reaches out
As you hear Me cry, “You’re in,”
As you see Me sweat and die
For all the broken ties between mankind and God. ― Norman C. Habel

I take the shoes from my feet,
I put off all that is finite and tread on a land without borders.
Burst forth, all the dark well-springs of my life!
Come flying all my nights, dark birds of guilt, descend upon me with outstretched wings:
I will go into deepest sorrow that I may find my God.
For sorrow is great in the world, mighty and without end.
It has encompassed that against which heaven and earth are shattered,
It has endured the weight of infinite love.
Holy God, Holy Strength, Holy Immortal.
Thou God under my sin, Thou God under my weakness, Thou God under my death.
I lay my lips upon thy wounds – Lord, I lay my soul upon thy cross.
-Gertrude von Le Fort

Ah, Holy Jesus by Johann Heermann (trans. by Robert S. Bridges)
Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
That we to judge thee have in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected, O most afflicted!

Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee!
‘Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee; I crucified thee.

Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
The slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered.
For our atonement, while we nothing heeded, God interceded.

For me, kind Jesus, was thy incarnation,
Thy mortal sorrow, and thy life’s oblation;
Thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion, for my salvation.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee,
I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee,
Think on thy pity and thy love unswerving, not my deserving.

Blessing of Balm by Jan L. Richardson
When we see
the body of Christ
still broken
in this world,
may we meet it
with lavish grace
and pour ourselves out
with extravagant love.

From The Crucified by Kahlil Gibran
Oh, crucified Jesus,
who art looking sorrowfully from Mount Calvary
at the sad procession of the Ages,
and hearing the clamor of the dark nations,
and understanding the dreams of Eternity:

Thou art, on the Cross,
more glorious and dignified
than one thousand kings
upon one thousand thrones
in one thousand empires.

Thou art, in the agony of death,
more powerful than one thousand generals
in one thousand wars.

With thy sorrows,
thou art more joyous than Spring with its flowers.

With thy suffering,
thou art more bravely silent than the crying of angels
of heaven.

Before thy lashers,
thou art more resolute than the mountain of rock.

Thy wreath of thorns is more brilliant and sublime
than the crown of Bahram.
The nails piercing thy hands are more beautiful
than the scepter of Jupiter.
The spatters of blood upon thy feet are more resplendent
than the necklace of Ishtar.

Forgive the weak who lament thee today,
for they do not know how to lament themselves.

Forgive them,
for they do not know that thou has conquered death
with death,
and bestowed life upon the dead.

Forgive them,
for they do not know that the strength still awaits them.

Forgive them,
for they do not know that every day is thy day.

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For more quotes and scriptures on Christ’s broken body, click here

For quote and scriptures on The Wounds of Christ, click here

For another devotion and original hymn text entitled Tell Me Dear Tree, click here

For another devotion and an original poem entitled The Taste of Death, click here

For another devotion and an original poem entitled You Understand my Pain, click here

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For more information on the art, scripture translations and the use of this post in other settings, please leave a comment

Christ's Body, Broken for You- Part 1

Descida da Cruz by António Nogueira. Public Domain.

Mark 15:15 (NRSV)
So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

Psalm 22:14-15 (NRSV)
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.

Christmas and Easter can be subjects for poetry, but Good Friday, like Auschwitz, cannot. The reality is so horrible it is not surprising that people should have found it a stumbling block to faith.
― W.H. Auden

Our crucifixes exhibit the pain, but they veil, perhaps necessarily, the obscenity: but the death of the God-Man was both. ― Charles Williams

Jesus’ suffering on the cross was a correct diagnosis and revelation of the human dilemma. It was an invitation to enter into solidarity with the pain of the world, and our own pain, instead of always resisting it, avoiding it, or denying it. Lady Julian of Norwich, my favorite Christian mystic, understood it  so well, and she taught, in effect, that “There is only one suffering and we all share in it.” – Richard Rohr

There are six varieties of wounds that a person can receive in their body.

  • Abrasive wound – Where the skin is scraped off. This can result from stumbling or by carrying a rough object or by a glancing blow
  • Confused wound – caused by a heavy blow.
  • Incised wound – produced by a knife or spear or other sharp instrument.
  • Lacerated wound – where the flesh is torn open leaving jagged edges.
  • Penetrating wound – where the flesh is pierced right through.
  • Punctured wound – made by a pointed or spiked instrument.

Jesus suffered all these wounds. Yes, Jesus suffered real physical pain. But what Jesus suffered physically by itself does not give the power to the cross. We must add with it the spiritual pain and suffering that Jesus endured on the cross. This is what made Jesus’ death on the cross different than any other. – Bill Lobbs

I simply argue that the cross be raised again
at the center of the market place
as well as the steeple of the church,
I am recovering the claim that
Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles
but on a cross between two thieves;
on a town garbage heap;
at a crossroad of politics so cosmopolitan that they had to write His title
in Hebrew and in Latin and in Greek…
and at the kind of place where cynics talk smut,
and thieves curse and soldiers gamble.
Because that is where He died, and that is what He died about
and that is where Christ’s followers ought to be,
and what church people ought to be about. – George MacLeod

When onlookers sneered, “He saved others; he cannot save himself,” they could not see that only because he had never thought of saving himself could anybody be saved at all. And those who shouted, “If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross” could not see that it was precisely because he was the Son of God that he would not come down from the cross. – Peter Storey, Listening at Golgotha

O Lord, holy Father, show us what kind of man it is who is hanging for our sakes on the cross, whose suffering causes the rocks themselves to crack and crumble with compassion, whose death brings the dead back to life. Let my heart crack and crumble at the sight of him. Let my soul break apart with compassion for his suffering. Let it be shattered with grief at my sins for which he dies. And finally let is be softened with devoted love for him. – Bonaventura

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For more quotes and scriptures on Christ’s broken body, click here

For quote and scriptures on The Wounds of Christ, click here

For another devotion and original hymn text entitled Tell Me Dear Tree, click here

For another devotion and original poem entitled The Taste of Death, click here

For another devotion and original poem entitled You Understand my Pain, click here

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For more information on the art, scripture translations and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.