O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from the liberti Lent & Easter 2012 prayerbook & the Book of Common Prayer)
psalm 71:1-14 (voice)
I have found shelter in You, Eternal One;
I count on You to shield me always from humiliation and disgrace.
Rescue and save me in Your justice.
Turn Your ear to me, and hurry to deliver me from my enemies.
Be my rock of refuge where I can always hide.
You have given the order to keep me safe;
You are my solid ground—my rock and my fortress.
Save me from the power of sinful people, O my God,
from the grip of unjust and cruel men.
For You are my hope, Eternal One;
You, Lord, have been the source of my confidence since I was young.
I have leaned upon You since I came into this world;
I have relied on You since You took me safely from my mother’s body,
So I will ever praise You.
Many find me a mystery,
but You are my rock and my shelter—my soul’s asylum.
My mouth overflows with praise to You
and proclaims Your magnificence all day long.
Do not set me aside when I am old;
do not abandon me when I am worn out.
For my enemies often voice evil against me;
those who desire to kill me plot together in secret.
They say, “God has abandoned him;
let’s go after him right now and seize him.
There’s no one around to rescue him.”
God, stay close by me.
Come quick, O my God, and help me!
May my enemies be covered in shame and then die;
may those who seek to harm me
be overwhelmed with contempt and disgrace.
But I will keep hope alive,
and my praise to You will grow exponentially.
isaiah 49:1-7 (esv)
Listen to me, O coastlands,
and give attention, you peoples from afar.
The Lord called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my name.
He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow;
in his quiver he hid me away.
And he said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
But I said, “I have labored in vain;
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my right is with the Lord,
and my recompense with my God.”
And now the Lord says,
he who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him;
and that Israel might be gathered to him—
for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord,
and my God has become my strength—
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
I will make you as a light for the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
Thus says the Lord,
the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,
the servant of rulers:
“Kings shall see and arise;
princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
john 12:20-36 (msg)
There were some Greeks in town who had come up to worship at the Feast. They approached Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee: “Sir, we want to see Jesus. Can you help us?”
Philip went and told Andrew. Andrew and Philip together told Jesus. Jesus answered, “Time’s up. The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.
“If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.
“Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’? No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.’”
A voice came out of the sky: “I have glorified it, and I’ll glorify it again.”
The listening crowd said, “Thunder!”
Others said, “An angel spoke to him!”
Jesus said, “The voice didn’t come for me but for you. At this moment the world is in crisis. Now Satan, the ruler of this world, will be thrown out. And I, as I am lifted up from the earth, will attract everyone to me and gather them around me.” He put it this way to show how he was going to be put to death.
Voices from the crowd answered, “We heard from God’s Law that the Messiah lasts forever. How can it be necessary, as you put it, that the Son of Man ‘be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?”
Jesus said, “For a brief time still, the light is among you. Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn’t destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don’t know where you’re going. As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You’ll be children of light.”
Jesus said all this, and then went into hiding. All these God-signs he had given them and they still didn’t get it, still wouldn’t trust him. This proved that the prophet Isaiah was right:
God, who believed what we preached?
Who recognized God’s arm, outstretched and ready to act?
First they wouldn’t believe, then they couldn’t—again, just as Isaiah said:
Their eyes are blinded,
their hearts are hardened,
So that they wouldn’t see with their eyes
and perceive with their hearts,
And turn to me, God,
so I could heal them.