Pastor's Monthly Message for April 2009

Among the most poignant passages of scripture is also the shortest. In the Gospel of John is a short verse which describes Christ's response to the death of one of His friends. The verse is simply, "Jesus wept". On that occasion, Jesus shed tears for a single friend whom He loved. The event openly displays Christ's capacity to love and feel sorrow for those around Him.

It was not long after this tragedy that Christ faced His own imminent death. Shortly before the crucifixion He went with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane. There In prophetic agony He witnessed the passing of peoples, of all nations, of us. He understood that this commandment that we love one another even as He loved us would largely be rejected by mankind. Once, twice, and for a third time He returned to His friends to share the awesome burden; each time He found them asleep. Alone, He took upon Himself the sins of the world, suffering for all generations of humanity. And In the depths of divine despair, He wept.

He wept for the countless unknown soldiers of many wars and their orphaned children, their widowed wives and grieving parents. He wept for the maimed in body and spirit in the impersonal cities, for the aged in nursing homes who wait for visitors who never come and for the meek and the trusting who are taken advantage of by the criminal and unscrupulous. He wept because of the ignorance that has made-much of humankind live out their lives in political and intellectual slavery, and because of superstition still keeps man in spiritual bondage.

For all these things and for much more, the Savior of mankind suffered untold agony. Across the centuries of time, the lonely figure of Jesus stood weeping as He did in the Garden. And so today, also, as we, His disciples sleep, He weeps for us.

Pastor Hans Lillejord