Spiritual Reflections by Parishioners of St. James' Episcopal Church ages 6-90
Death of Jesus: Mark 15:33-39
When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o'clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?' which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, 'Listen, he is calling for Elijah.' And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, 'Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.' Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, 'Truly this man was God's Son!'
Day 39: Good Friday, April 6, 2012
Darkness. It is really dark. It robs the color from everything around me. I am far from home: half a world; 12-hour time difference; 50 degrees colder. This is Siberia -- in the physical, emotional and soulless sense. This is an oppressed and forgotten place.
After being driven through the bleak and frozen terrain, we arrive at the Baby Home in Sosnovoborsk. We are greeted at the door by one of many automaton caregivers and taken to a room. We are left alone with our thoughts and fears. Eventually, a 16-month-old baby boy is brought in and placed in my arms. He does not smile or engage with us at all. He does not understand me -- he understands only Russian. He watches and seems to wait. He seems careful and unwilling to be noticed. Is he mimicking what he sees from the caregivers?
Later, we are told by the Baby Home doctor, through our translator, all of the boy's health issues. My heart squeezes with the desire to take him out of this darkness NOW! But, we must wait through this darkest time. I glance at the doctor and see she is watching me and my reactions. She smiles at me as I catch a flash of gold and see she is wearing an Orthodox cross which rests over her heart. I realize that she has allowed a glimmer of hope into her soul, tearing the curtain of darkness cast over this land.