Daily Bread"It was now about noon,
and darkness came over the whole world
until three in the afternoon,
while the sun's light failed;
and the curtain of the temple was torn into two.
Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said,
'Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.'
Having said this, he breathed his last."
For me, the above stained glass window at St. David's makes me think of Good Friday and the story of Jesus' crucifixion - with the hammer and nails and the inscription "INRI" ("Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum" meaning "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews"). And on this holy day, we join with Christians around the world to pause and to contemplate mysteries at the center of our faith ... and, as we say in our Good Friday liturgy, "to behold the life-giving cross, on which hung the salvation of the whole world," ... and to ponder the universal significance of this one, solitary life. To aid in your contemplation today, I share the following poem attributed to Dr. James Allen Francis:
He was born in an obscure village,
the child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in still another village,
where he worked in a carpenter shop
until he was thirty.
Then for three years
he was an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book.
He never held an office.
He never had a family or owned a house.
He didn’t go to college.
He never visited a big city.
He never traveled two hundred miles
from the place where he was born.
He did none of the things
one usually associates with greatness.
He had no credentials but himself.
He was only thirty-three
when the tide of public opinion turned against him.
His friends ran away.
He was turned over to his enemies.
and went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross
between two thieves.
While he was dying,
his executioners gambled for his clothing,
the only property he had on Earth.
When he was dead,
he was laid in a borrowed grave
through the pity of a friend.
Twenty centuries have come and gone,
and today he is the central figure
of the human race,
and the leader of humanity's progress.
All the armies that ever marched,
all the navies that ever sailed,
all the parliament that ever sat,
all the kings that ever reigned,
put together have not affected
the human life on Earth
as much as that
One Solitary Life.
My God be with you on this most holy of days.
- Pastor Micah