Scripture – John, Chapters 18 & 19
Today we remember those final, dark moments of Christ’s life: Judas’s betrayal, Christ’s subsequent arrest and trial by Pontius Pilate, and, finally, Christ’s crucifixion and death. If you have not already, I encourage you to take your time and read the scripture passages above. It is a much longer reading than we have had on previous days, but it is important for us to look back on these significant events surrounding Christ’s final days.
As you go back and reread these familiar texts, pay special attention to how Jesus responds to each event. He is arrested willingly, showing neither anger nor hesitation. He does not even offer up harsh words to Judas, who has brought the soldiers to take him away.
Throughout this entire narrative, Jesus surrenders himself up to the powers that be, sacrificing himself even unto death. Jesus knew this was God’s plan and he was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of the world. This is what unconditional love looks like: a complete offering up of oneself for the sake of others.
How is God calling you to pour yourself out for the sake of others during this time? What sacrifices are you being asked to make to ensure the safety and health of your neighbors and entire community?
Dear God, today is a hard day to look back upon. When we read again the story of Christ’s crucifixion, we are reminded of Your great love for us, and of how You have called us to mirror that great love to others. Guide our steps, God, and teach us to give as Jesus gave, with our whole selves. Amen.
Labyrinths are often used as a tool for walking meditation. Due to the nature of their curves and many turns, they force the person walking to slow down and take their time. Therefore, they can be useful in helping us slow our thoughts, be still and present in the moment, and focus our thoughts and feelings on God.
On the back of this page is a finger labyrinth for you to use to spend some time in reflective prayer today. Instead of walking this labyrinth, you are invited to use your finger to trace along the labyrinth’s curving path.
Start near the bottom of the paper at the labyrinth’s opening. You can use this time to simply slow yourself down and give yourself time to reflect on Christ’s willingness to sacrifice himself for us, or you may choose to say a prayer at each juncture/turn.
Some suggestions of what you may want to center your labyrinth prayers upon: forgiveness for times you have fallen short, continued patience and strength during this difficult time, all medical personnel and first responders, and all those affected by this virus in our community and around the world.