Offering Refuge and HopeHow can you practically and prayerfully support refugees?
Top Music Videos
looking beyond Calvary
The Mount Grace Priory in North Yorkshire is one of England’s best-preserved medieval monasteries. For hundreds of years, Carthusian monks lived there in solitude, devoting themselves to prayer. The priory’s ruins are impressive, but a more modern monument caught my attention on a recent visit to the site.
At the center of the priory church stands a sculpture called the Madonna of the Cross. Crafted by Malcolm Brocklesby in 1996, it depicts Jesus’ mother Mary lifting her newborn Son to heaven. There are many striking aspects to the sculpture—like Mary’s posture (determined rather than distraught), and her expression (serene rather than anguished). But perhaps the most striking feature is that she stands in the form of a cross. As Brocklesby notes in an inscription: “The figure of the Madonna is integral with that of the cross, the stark and terrible symbol at the heart of Christianity, which is an inescapable part of her existence.”
Mary knew her calling would be painful. As Simeon told her, “a sword will pierce your very soul” (Luke 2:35). That prophecy was fulfilled in John 19. Mary stands looking at her Son—now lifted up on a cross (v.25). He’s suffering. She loves Him beyond words. Even now He’s concerned for her well-being (vv.26-27). The sword has pierced her soul.
But there’s a reason why the sculptor depicts Mary as looking serene. “She is looking beyond Calvary to the resurrection,” he says (see 20:1-18).
As I reflect on today’s verses and Brocklesby’s sculpture, I ask myself: Will I, like Mary, accept the suffering inherent in my own divine calling? And will I look beyond that pain to God’s promised victory? —Sheridan Voysey
Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene (v.25).
What does Paul reveal in 2 Timothy 1:8 about our calling in Christ?
How else did Mary suffer for being the mother of Jesus? In what ways might you suffer for Him today?
- Offering Refuge and Hope - How can you practically and prayerfully support refugees?...read more
- Songs Before Dawn - How will you use your voice to let the good news ring out today?...read more
- Uber Conversations - How do the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit model a loving relationship?...read more
- Prayer on an Airplane - How can you prepare to share the hope you have in Jesus?...read more
- Adding Interest? - Is there something you’re holding back from God?...read more
- Lord of the Cosmos - What does Jesus being “Lord of the cosmos” mean for your future?...read more
- Farming Hope - What trial are you facing today?...read more
- Because of Sunday - How can you learn to imitate Jesus and His mindset as you face conflict?...read more
- Our Real and Present God - When have you grappled with questions about God’s nearness and presence?...read more
- Gift of Tears - What triggers your emotions?...read more
- Faith in the Fields - Jesus urged His disciples to tell people about Him for “the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”...read more
- Pizza and God's Presence - When do you feel most vulnerable?...read more
- Peace and Contentment - What changes could you make to better “seek the Kingdom of God above all else”?...read more
- Beauty of Diversity - Do your relationships reflect the beautiful diversity of the early church?...read more
- Starting Small - Read Philippians 1:6 and consider how God will finish the good work He started in you....read more
- “For God’s Sake!” - What have been your responses to particularly painful moments in life?...read more