Sunday Retold -from The Road of Tears and the Place of the Skull – 20th November





This week’s readings include
Colossians 1:11-20
Luke 23:33-43

The next in the occasional series Sunday Retold

Please feel free to use anything that is of help to you, saying where it is from.

For one person hanging on a Roman cross to say to another  -” remember me when you come into your kingdom” – as if this was not the end, as if the story still goes on, is astonishing.  No wonder that this man is remembered for his faith.  To be in the midst of pain and suffering of such unimaginable magnitude and yet to have hope, to try to look  to something beyond,  is too much for most of us to comprehend. Perhaps, though, it could encourage us in our own dark places to cultivate hope, and a deeper sense of deeper purposes.

The Colossians reading puts this exchange in a bigger, more cosmic, context.  Something world-changing is being accomplished in this terrible moment.  The reconciliation of all things is underway.  A new kind of life and kingdom is possible, is emerging, is beginning even here.  Signs of it are springing up in the most unpromising seeming ground.

Is there light in the darkness?  Is there hope in impossible things?  The Luke reading draws our attention to a lone voice calling out for hope when all around are voices of anger and despair.  He is just one person -but that one person is heard, and his voice echoes through the centuries.  Who knows the impact this exchange had on those who witnessed it.

One voice, speaking for the kingdom.  One voice, speaking for something bigger than the current moment.  One voice,asking for hope, believing in hope.  Never doubt the courage or the power of one voice speaking out above the chorus of anger, mockery and despair.

Could that voice be yours? Are there situations where your hope is needed?

You might like to use the pictures above to lead you into prayer.  What do they say to you?

From The Bible Retold

Two other me were led out to be crucified with Jesus at Golgotha, the Place of the Skull: one on his left, and one on his right.  So Jesus was nailed to the cross, and a sign was hung above him, saying: “This is the King of the Jews.”
From the cross, Jesus spoke slowly, painfully.”Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
But some among the crowd sneered, “Save yourself if you really are chosen by God.  You saved others!”
The soldiers joined in, as did one of the men being crucified with Jesus. But the other said, “Don’t you fear God, at the hour of your death?  We are guilty, but this man has done nothing wrong.”  He turned his head towards Jesus. “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom!”

And from Prayers and Verses

Dear God,
May I welcome you as my king:
King of peace,
King of love,
King in death,
King of life.

Jesus, who walked to the cross,
be with us when we feel abandoned.

Jesus, who walked to the cross,
be with us when we face danger.

Jesus, who walked to the cross,
be with us when we are suffering.

When sorrow threatens to defeat us,
Jesus, who rose from the dead, be with us.

Come, O Joy:
Let heaven break into my dark night of sorrow
like the early dawn of a summer morning.


Photos by my husband Peter Skevington, with thanks.
Top – marshes by Porlock, Exmooor.
Bottom – the view from Selworthy, Exmoor.



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