In Luke’s gospel Jesus encounters women lamenting and weeping as he makes his journey to Golgotha with his cross (Luke 23.28).
Sieger Koder captures this moment in one of his images.
On this image, Magdalen Lawler writes, “Our eyes are drawn to [Jesus’] broad strength and his bent posture towards the women. From his vantage point he looks down on their group,’ (p. 55).
She wonders whether in this group are those women Jesus had encountered in the gospel before – the woman at the well, the haemorrhaging woman perhaps. In Koder’s striking image there are women from across the world crying out in anguish and sorrow and grief – lamenting. N. T. Wright suggests that lament happens when we have no answers to the question ‘why’ . It is a ‘crying out of the soul [that] creates a pathway between the Already and the Not Yet. Lament minds the gap between current hopelessness and coming hope,’ (p. 12).
Lawler continues ‘In the distance, barbed wire cries out their anguish and it forms a boundary to freedoms that are snatched away in our world today,’ (p. 55).
As we continue to experience life in lockdown, in isolation, distanced from one another as a pandemic reaches across our world, indiscriminately attacking and causing devastation, we too might cry out in lament to a God as we sit in a dark hour in our own lives. Our lament calls out in anguish for our world, our community, ourselves. In this image Jesus sees the women, he hears their lament. He hears ours too.
Our pain is his pain, and his is ours. As we journey through Holy Week let us be mindful that we walk both in the Already and the Not Yet. Which means that however dark it looks right now, the light is present – and the darkness cannot put it out (John 1.5).
True and humble king,
hailed by the crowd as Messiah,
grant us the faith to know you and love you,
that we may be found beside you
on the way of the cross,
which is the path of glory.
Lawler, M. (2012) Christ our Morning Star, Pauline Books and Media, UK.
Wright, N. T. (2020) https://time.com/5808495/coronavirus-christianity/ accessed on 6.4.20.
Sampson, A, (2019) The Louder Song, NavPress, USA.
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