Summary: A communion meditation for Monday of Holy Week, part 1 of a 4 part series on “Rediscovering His Love: The Wounds of Jesus.”
Monday of Holy Week
Rediscovering His Love: The Wounds of Jesus
His Back & Shoulders*
Objective: A communion meditation for Monday of Holy Week, part 1 of a 4 part series on “Rediscovering His Love: The Wounds of Jesus.”
A Prayer of Confession (© Katherine Hawker)
We come seeking God in mighty earthquakes.
We come listening for God in resounding thunder.
We come expecting God in sweeping victories.
Yet God is found in a baby's touch.
Yet God speaks in silence.
Yet God is found in the least of these.
Save us, O God, from our aimless wandering.
Save us, O God, from our idols.
Save us, O God, from our self-induced chaos.
God, in your mercy, Hear our prayer. Amen.
You don’t think much about your back until you have problems with it. If you are a weight lifter you know the soreness that comes the days following isolating those muscles and you know the benefit that will come once the muscles build back up. If you have spinal or back problems you know how debilitating it can be … it can literally leave you incapable of moving.
Our back and shoulders are, it seems, capable of carrying a great load. As you know, I cut my own firewood and sometimes (If I don’t have my ATV with me) I have been known to cut down a tree, clean it up, and carry/drag it to a landing on my shoulders. I am regularly surprised at the amount of weight I can carry like that … but let my back or shoulders get sore or damaged (I have had 2 shoulder surgeries) and I am not able to lift or carry anything.
The load we can carry is probably why we refer to bearing stress and duty as “carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders.”
It is not by accident that we begin our Holy Week meditations by reflecting on Jesus’ wounded back and shoulders. Isaiah 50:6 says, “I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.”
When we think of Jesus bearing our sins it is easy to segue into a meditation on His back as well. Peter wrote (I Peter 2:23-25) “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
Again from Isaiah, (Isaiah 53:4) we discover Jesus not only bore our sins but He also bears our sorrows. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (KJV).
As you make your way through this very special week I encourage you to reflect upon Jesus’ willingness and ability to bear your sin and carry your burdens.
• Psalm 55:22 says “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”