O Lord our God, whose blessed Son gave his back to be whipped and did not hide his face from shame and spitting: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
by Ned McNair
When I read the prayer for today, I was aghast at the word ‘spit’. In the prayer, and the scriptures I see God doing things that gods are not supposed to do. The creator of the universe being spit on, and hit with a stick by the most religious people in the known world, not to mention the blood-letting, whip-slinging, thorn-smashing, crucifying Romans does not fit any of my models of god-like behavior. What kind of all-powerful, robed in glory being does that?
If I am confused imagine what Jesus was thinking? He knew he and the Father were one so much so that he told Thomas, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father”. It staggers me to think of the one who created the love I have for my wife, child, and grandchildren, and the wonders of the universe being treated like that. The man, Jesus, must have been very confused and deeply hurt emotionally as wells as physically.
Jesus, our God, the only true and living God, isn’t anything like all the other gods. And what he allowed himself to go through to demonstrate how utterly unique, totally connected to us, and merciful he is, is both painful to imagine, and incredibly thrilling at the same time. I am so glad to read that Paul said, “the foolishness of God is wiser than all the wisdom mankind has, can have, or ever will come up with.” Yes, that is a paraphrase.
I don’t have a very high view of the wisdom of man right now but my view of Jesus is definitely improving.
Ned McNair, that’s me, is an 82-year-old codger that has lived on Hilton Head Island for 50 years. My foolish wife has stuck with me for 60 years. God graced us with one daughter, one granddaughter and one grandson. They are all happily married and have dogs.