by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 3/6/14

Have you ever fought to get the last word on an issue? Having the last word matters when you are trying to make a point. Sometimes “having the last word” means fighting over who gets the last word in a conversation that has turned competitive. Too often those last words aren’t, in the end, lasting words. All the more so, a person’s last words in life mean a great deal whether they direct the family inheritance or simply offer blessing. Last words matter.
During Wednesday nights in Lent, our prayer time will center around the words of Jesus from the cross. The last words will guide us from the first days of Lent to the last and teach us lessons about our faith that are of the first order.
Art, music, and communal conversation will mark our time together each week, as we consider each utterance. If you would like to expand your reflection on these words, I recommend “Cross-Shattered Christ: Meditations on the Seven Last Words,” by Stanley Hauerwas or “The Seven Last Words,” by Flemming Rutledge.
3/12  The First Word
"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do"
3/19  The Second Word
"Today you will be with me in paradise"
3/26  The Third Word
"Woman, behold thy son. Son, behold thy mother"
4/2  The Fourth Word
"My God, my God why have you forsaken me?"
4/9  The Fifth Word
"I thirst"
4/16  The Sixth Word
"It is finished!"
4/18  The Seventh Word
"Father, into Thy hands I commit my Spirit"