BigRead13 Day 17 : Beautiful

The #BigRead13 Day 17

You can find day 17’s post from the #BigRead13 here.

Today’s reading is Luke 9:21-26:

21 He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

23 Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. 25 What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves? 26 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words, of them the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Today’s reading from The Horse and His Boy has Hwin, the horse, saying he’d rather be eaten by Aslan than fed by anyone else.

What parallels can we draw here?

Yesterday evening, I went to hear Rachel Mann speak, of which more anon. But one thing she said in particular was relevant to today’s passage.  She said she wasn’t always a happy person – she was an Ash Wednesday girl, a Good Friday kind of girl.  Sometimes I find Christians focussing exclusively on the resurrection – that Jesus was raised and that we too can be raised.  Yet for him to be risen up, he first had to be knocked down – hung, crucified, dead to the world for our sins.  We should remember that there is beauty in this pain – in Mary sitting at the foot of the Cross, weeping. This is equal to the beauty in the empty took – the radiant Jesus saying to Mary Magdalene “why are you weeping?”

It is right that we do focus on the beauty of the empty tomb and the empty cross.  But we should not forget that in the agony there too is beauty. Two pieces of music then for today.

The first I’m not going to post here, because I’d love you to go to the site here and read the lyrics as you listen. As Vicky‘s lyrics say, “O precious sight, I love to gaze.”

And secondly, one of the most beautiful pieces ever written: