While the soldiers worry about tearing his garment, Jesus considers how his death will rip apart the holy fabric of his family. He sees the tears in his mother’s eyes. He hears the crushed dreams caught in his best friend’s throat. Both look at him just like Mary and Martha did after they had laid Lazarus in the tomb. Perhaps weeping again, Jesus knows he has one last thing to do. He says, “Woman, here is your son,” and to John, “Here is your mother” (vv. 26-27).
One Tuesday we had a community service of remembrance for those lost to COVID-19. Our neighbors came to a memorial wall to write messages and attach flowers and photos of mothers, sons, and other dearly departed loved ones. One of my fellow pastors added 232 strips of colored fabric, explaining to the gathered crowd that they symbolized those lives ripped from the cloth of our community.
Over the last two years, we have seen Jesus crucified again and again, breathing his last on a ventilator. We saw him crushed in body and spirit as we watched those who were caring for patients use trash bags for protective gear. As loved ones died while family watched on Facetime, we saw him crying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46). But you know what we also saw and heard from the cross? “Here is your son. Here is your mother. You are your brother and sister’s keeper.”
Jesus’ work will not be finished until we are connected to each other.
Who do you need to connect with today? Who do you need to let care for you?
God, may your people be one as you and the Son and the Holy Spirit are one. Amen.