[body broken for you. thanksgiving]Wednesday was the day of studying, praying, giving thanks, finding beauty in the quiet of a kitchen filling with the sound of gentle melody and the smell of pie browning in the oven.
Wednesday I led John 19 in college group - the chapter of blood - Good Friday. I wrote almost ten pages with notes and cross references and commentary notes and ideas. And I prayed. And then I mixed flour and salt and cut in the butter and rolled out the dough and turned it over and rolled it out while I turned all these thoughts over in my head.
I washed and cut strawberries to the vibrations of piano and violin washing over the kitchen and the rain washing the leaves of the trees and the face of the grass and I thought of the One who washes us with his blood and baptizes us in his water.
And I mixed the flour and the sugar and sprinkled them, thawed the rhubarb and tossed it with the strawberries, tossing ideas in my mind, sprinkling thanks for the beauty of a fresh cut strawberry, of butter cut into flour, of clean marbled pastry, of water droplets on green leaves, of melodies sinking into my soul.
I worked, and I gave thanks, and I rested my soul.
Wednesday night I arrived and sat in my own created quiet and wrote my order, jotted out notes in quick-hand pencil scrawled across cream pages and thin brown lines. When I was finished I sat at the table and celebrated the togetherness of eating with people of Christ and laughing with them, being satisfied in my food and in their company; giving thanks for sustenance and for community that I don't always appreciate.
Wednesday night I sat and asked what they brought, what they carried with them to the cross, what they saw the cross as. I dared to ask them to set it aside and ask instead what John is telling with open hands and earnest eyes. What John is saying with loud voice about the one we call Christ.
Christ, the true King. Christ, the willing sacrifice.
the ultimate Passover Lamb, the Beloved Son of the Father, given freely; our Jesus. The fulfillment of Scripture, the Atonement of sins, the great High Priest. Christ, the keeper of all the commandments, the Giver, the Finisher of all things, the First-born Son.
He who is fully God and fully Man.
We look upon him whom we have pierced. We ask what it means to identify with him in his death - like John, Joseph, Nicodemus. May we act out of our love for him and not out of fear of man.
May I never cease to give thanks for him, the one who bore all shame and shall receive all glory.
Wednesday I drove home in the quiet and dark, with stars overhead among the clouds and music softly playing and I dared to let my soul revel in the glory of Christ crucified, in the wonder of it, in the strangeness that there is glory in so shameful a thing as crucifixion. I gave thanks for a God whom I might know, who makes himself known to me, who marks me and sets me apart. In whom I am beloved, forgiven, free. I pray that I might know him, that he might be real to me, that I may always live full life in him, might live the life of the Eucharist, giving thanks in all circumstances.
And I came home and tried to write the beauty of a day of thanksgiving and wonder and glory and quietness and calm. I pray for capacity to give thanks for and name the glory of Christ upon the cross, but also give thanks for and name the glory of sweet quietness, strawberry juice staining smooth pie crust, satisfaction in work well done. May I always be seeing the gifts of our good God.