Lent: We walk into the gathering danger & doubt surrounding Jesus as he made choices that led to the Cross.
This is a time of preparation & reflection.
Where have you been this year & where might you be going?
What are the things that have kept your journey on pause?
What are the choices you have made that you would like to revisit? A Lenten Collection
Jesus kept saying, “Father, forgive them, because they don’t know what they’re doing.”
Then they divided his clothes among them by throwing dice.
Luke 23:34 (ISV)
Ancient Roman Spears
The Tirones resented being dispatched to the Hill of Skulls. The wailing of the women – as their sons, lovers and husbands died on the cross – was exhausting. But that’s what the recruits got. Watching the rebels and rabble die wasn’t really glorious. Each man stationed to the watch, to make sure no one was freed before the torturing had transmitted its lethal and gruesome message, was not why they were here. For the Pax Romana, the glory of Rome, that was they all were here and they all longed to be Centurions one day: But – clearly – not on this day.
Up they came, and they looked more rabble then rebel this day. Three men barely able to carry their cross came stumbling like dehydrated cattle, who were drawn to the illusion of drinking desert sand imagining it was water was how they appeared to Iduma. One of them clearly was not even able to bear his own load and some Iudaeus was doing it for him! He scoffed, this was the one about which Pilate was worried, he wondered to himself?
Roman Dice Players
Iduma looked to Julianus and they both snickered. Spears were sharpened and they were looking forward to the one thing that made this post bearable. The nails were driven, the usual sobbing ensued. Iduma knew that Kanutus was hoping for some action – last week some fisherman’s son had ‘taken offence’ to his father being executed for the filth & the revolutionary he was. Bored, Kanutus impaled the boy before his own dying father: war was war and they all knew Palestine was a festering ground of insurgence. Best to break them and keep them broken, Iduma mused.
Ah well, the storm was coming and Kanutus had his dice. So, at least here was the perk. It had been awhile since he had won the lot throw, but maybe that would be different. He looked up at the ‘King’ and spat. One of the women around him said something in their guttural language, sounded even like a prayer. But what would you expect from the barbaroi … they began to play for his clothes, after all it was the only thing of value on this or any other day on the Hill of Skulls …
This imagined glimpse of what that moment looked like was born during the Passion Worship last Sunday at UCiM. During the enacted worship, as the children actually rolled die, it was clear how much they enjoyed that play, the game, the announcing of numbers and – to some extent – reminding me of all of our distractions to the import of this Holy Week challenge. Who are we in the story at this point? Do we imagine we are one of the thieves? Jesus? One of the soldiers? As Good Friday looms and I long for the illumination of Light on Easter, I have to admit, I find it hard to realise I am also one of the soldiers. And if that’s true, what do I do with that as the black shroud falls to diminish the light in the World?
Stories, Vignettes & the Archive
Stories … they’re funny things. This A Deacon’s Musing feature will share vignettes of voices that are (often) an amalgamation of experiences, contexts and people. They will frequently be monologues, which will be speaking both directly to our United Church of Canada and generally to faith communities. As with all stories, this may not have actually happened, but all stories are true. And as story-tellers know, once you hear them, they are happening to you …