Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Station Three - Jesus Falls

photo by Jim Forest / flickr

" He became like his brothers

(and sisters, too) in every

         --Hebrews 4. 15

This third station is our station. 

Jesus falls. Before the journey is over he will fall three times.

And so do we. 

We don't intend to fall--but we do.

Sometimes the weight of it all just gets too great. And we can't carry it another moment.

Arthur Godfrey, entertainer from another era, flew over New York City one night. He looked out at all the glittering lights and told the pilot. "You know what gets me. Fifty years from now all that will be going on down there and won't be around to enjoy it. It makes me so damn mad."

Godfrey was talking about limits. His limits. Ours, too. Everybody's. And if we ponder this Station very long it makes us damn mad, too.

Donald Trump, speaking of John McCain's long ordeal as a hostage said, "I don't like John McCain. I don't like losers. He was a loser."

Behind every bully's braggadocio  lurks really a fear. Nobody wants to be a loser. But we all are. That is the third station of the cross.

Why did the church place this station so early in his journey? 

Because it doesn't take long when we start out to stub our toes or be humiliated or have them stand by laughing when we are face down.

We put up statues for the winners. But there are no monuments for the fallen. And here Jesus is one with all the unnamed ones. All those that have had to sell a house in short sales or take bankruptcy or file a Chapter 11 or sit in  some Doctor's office already knowing the report looks bad. All those who still go to the cemetery and find the name and weep.

The heroes stay on their feet. Too smart--or like the banks--too big to fail.

Well, maybe not. Falling is part and parcel of our humanity. Everybody's.

Limits and bad lab reports and aging and failures are all part of what it means to be human.

The monks lived up on the hill behind stone walls. The old farmer was intrigued He asked a monk: "It must be wonderful living up there away from all the problems and temptations we have to face. Praying and loving God. What does your day look like?" And the monk said: "We fall down and we get up and we fall down and we get up."

Jesus will not stay face down on the ground suffocating under his splintered cross. No. He will get up and continue his journey.

And so will we. Thanks be to God.

--Roger Lovette / rogerlovette.blogspot.com

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