22 February 2012

We Like Sheep

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;

yet we esteemed him stricken,
     smitten by God, and afflicted.

  But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
     and with his wounds we are healed.
  All we like sheep have gone astray;
 we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
     yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
 And they made his grave with the wicked
     and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.
 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
     make many to be accounted righteous,
     and he shall bear their iniquities.
 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
     and he shall divide the spoil with the strong
because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors
(Isaiah 53: 4-12)

It's Ash Wednesday. We begin today the 40 days of remembrance.
For my sins God died.
I write that-
and it tears at me.
Oh, God, why?
Not because I was worthy-
all these filthy sins.
But for Love.
To make intercession for the transgressors.
the transgressors- me, chief.
This, I think is what  Lent is-
A time to see our darkest of sins in the bold light of extravagant grace.



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