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Day 13 Lenten Devotion: The Church at the Foot of the Cross

By Jonathan Hoeldtke in Woodstown Presbyterian Church almost 6 years ago | 844 views Link:

Day 13 of Lent

Title: The Church at the Foot of the Cross


Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.  John 19:25-27


I know that traditionally, Pentecost is thought of as the birth of the church.  The Holy Spirit breathes new life into the disciples and the church is born.  If that is the birth then the grieving huddle at foot of cross is the developing church within the womb.  And who makes up this church. 

Mary – She was a widow who is losing her son.  God has a big heart for widows.  God has a big heart for those who lose their children.  He knows what it is like.

Mary’s sister – remember she asked Jesus if her sons could sit on the right and left of Him.  Only one shows up.  Not good right hand man material.  That is a humbling moment for a prideful mother.  She also is beginning to learn that she has a spiritual family that is just as important as her biological one.

Mary, the wife of Clopas – She was most likely, Mary’s sister in-law.  Clopas, early church writings indicate, was the brother of Joseph who probably died years before Jesus’ death.  It is also thought that Clopas became a prominent leader in the church in Jerusalem.  Mary was his wife and had become a good friend of Jesus’ mother. 

Mary Magdalene – Jesus cast seven demons out of her.  Her life was radically change by Him.  Now she is part of the church family. 

John – He was the only guy to step up – the “one Jesus loved.”  John was a fisherman who would go on to author 5 books of the New Testament.  He was becoming a leader.

These were the raw materials used to make up the church – a widow and a mourner, a sister learning humility, a sister in law who became a friend, a once demon possessed woman and a fisherman finding new purpose.

There they were at the foot of the cross, experiencing Christ crucified and not knowing that they were about to be reborn.


What does your church look like?  It is a group of people who already have it together?  Is it a club of look-a-likes?  Or is it a collection of sinners, from all walks and stages of life, who have died with Christ and have been reborn into kingdom of God?  Is it a community of disciples who stick together when it gets rough.  Is it like Pastor Eryn wrote yesterday, a band of individuals who stand near to each other?  Does your church look like the one standing at the foot of the cross?

Suggested Prayer

Pray for your church and others that God brings to mind.  Pray for the widow, the mourner, the proud, the friend, the possessed and developing leader in your church.  Pray hard that it would be reborn into the Spirit filled church that changes the world. 


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Susan Bestwick

Yet another incredibly insightful and though provoking piece! Keep’em


discussion topic in Woodstown Presbyterian Church

Pat Fredrick

Amen-I think as we go through our lives we pass through many or maybe all of those “aspects” or experiences. What a blessing to have the church to lead us back to the most amazing promise of Christ.

Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2013 11:17:35 +0000

Buck Rosenberger

Pretty good stuff in there.  Jesus transforms and the church is created.  Out of our imperfection Jesus draws the power needed to do His work in the kingdom on earth.  When we remember our weakness and see the “faults” in others, remember these are the raw materials our Lord uses to build His new creation.

Terry Haaf

Thank you for the reminder that Jesus’ ministry on earth was to reach the imperfect; the sinners and outcasts. We often are reminded that the church is a hospital for sinners but I never looked at it from the point that the church was born of sinners. Praise the Lord for His unending grace and patience as I walk, stumble and fall in my efforts to emulate His love for ALL people; perfect and imperfect!

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