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Lord, Make My Lent Yours: Lenten Devotions
Saturday, April 9
As we continue the story of Jesus’ final hours, read Mark 15:21-24, focusing on verse 21: “They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.”
In the wrong place at the wrong time.
I had Lent under control, basically. Pretty regular prayers, some quiet devotions, in the spirit with it all.
And then … this. Minding my own business, coming in from the country, on my way. And suddenly waylaid. Like Simon.
A friend’s untimely death. Work is driving me crazy. An argument with my child. Forgetting a date night at home. Worries about money. Tsunamis and nuclear meltdowns. Protestors shot. Why me, why now?
Each weighs down with all its might. No one thing is exactly like cross-bearing. But it still feels like heavy estrangement … from wholeness, from relationships, from peace, from God.
Not what I had in mind for Lent. This was to be about closeness and a smooth, cool path.
Then the soldiers grabbed me and stuck this load on my back and whipped me through the streets, weeping. My two strong sons, Alexander and Rufus, weren’t there to help. It was just me, an old man staggering as people laughed at me, spat on me, reckoning I was the criminal.
But one Son was there. He was somewhere in the crowd as I struggled to drag this enormous cross through the streets.
He prayed for me … then, and he prays now. I feel like an accomplice in a way, wounded, on my knees with fear and exhaustion and disappointment. My dreams of a sweet, simple journey long gone.
Lord, make my Lent yours. Amen.
Larry Hollar is North Central senior regional organizer with Bread for the World.
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