Below is an excerpt from this morning’s Lent Project devotional by Kevin Greiner, called “Let God Deliver Him.” I also included the Scripture, artwork, poetry, and prayer that go with the devotional.
But I am a worm, and no man;
A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
All those who see Me ridicule Me;
They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
“He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him;
Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”
But You are He who took Me out of the womb;
You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.
I was cast upon You from birth.
From My mother’s womb
You have been My God.
Be not far from Me,
For trouble is near;
For there is none to help.
Many bulls have surrounded Me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
They gape at Me with their mouths,
Like a raging and roaring lion.
I am poured out like water,Psalm 22:7-15
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And My tongue clings to My jaws;
You have brought Me to the dust of death.
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries“We Wear the Mask”
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
“In today’s passage from Psalm 22 . . . David writes of the Messiah suffering extraordinary pain––physical, mental, and emotional. He is mocked, rejected, and in physical agony. In the midst of this severe pain, though, the Suffering One still maintains a deep trust in God.
Here, the juxtaposition comes in our response to suffering. How easy it is for us to trust God when things are going well! But let misfortune or even simple inconvenience come our way, and our trust in God can quickly evaporate in grumbling or even blaming Him. This frail response stands in sharp contrast to Psalm 22, where the sufferer chooses to trust God fully even in terrible circumstances.
As we stand at the beginning of the Paschal Triduum, we would do well to contemplate how the sufferings of Christ are a proclamation of the goodness of God and how trials in life do not obviate God’s trustworthiness. In the painting by Peter Howson, the Christ figure has chosen to be present among people whose own suffering lends a grotesqueness to their faces. In the same way, Christ is present with us, not, perhaps, to alleviate our suffering, but instead to fellowship with us and sustain us through it.”
“Dear Lord, thank you for the example you have given us of complete trust in the midst of suffering. Please grant us the grace to find you in the midst of our suffering and be able to draw strength from you as we walk through it. Let us also, as we meditate on your Passion, grow more deeply in love with you.