The Things He Carried

Son #2 gave me this book for Mothering Sunday and it didn’t take long to read, but I’m sure it will be read and re-read again and again. It comes from Bishop Stephen Cottrell preaching the ‘Three Hours’ on Good Friday at St Paul’s Cathedral and focuses on the things Jesus carried:

The Cross; A crown of thorns; A seamless robe; His followers’ disappointments; The hopes of God; The sins of the world; Our sorrows; A broken heart.

The style is meditative and poetic and would be a great book for Lent or to journey to the cross with during Holy Week. There are questions to ponder at the end of each chapter.

Here is the last paragraph which is still with me…

So here I stand. It is as if everyone else has departed and I am alone at the foot of the cross. The day is almost over, and Jesus waits upon me. He looks at me with such tenderness. He won’t make this decision for me. He just waits. And until that day when God gathers together all the scattered fragments of his creation he will go on waiting. HIs offer remains the same. There is nothing I need to do to earn it or deserve it. It is just there, carried by this cross. I feel the weight of it. I see the extent of it; and I am faced with a choice. It is the same choice that every person faces or avoids; the same choice those criminals either side of him encountered as their lives inched towards death: shall we sneer, or shall we ask to be remembered?

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3 thoughts on “The Things He Carried

  1. That book is sitting beside me on my desk now. Last year we used it as a basis for a Good Friday service of reflection – with extracts read. It worked well. I also recommend Stephen Cottrell’s book ‘The things He Said’ which has a similar format, but focuses on the first words of Jesus after the resurrection.

  2. Many thanks for the rcommendation, Ruth. One to get hold of.

    I still remember very well the clergy day Stephen Cottrell led for us in Bangor Diocesewell over 10 years ago now. It was on the Eucharist and managed to be both simple and very profound. A great gift.

  3. The other one is on my Amazon wish list!

    I heard +Stephen speak in Edinburgh at an Affirming Catholicism day, I think, and he was very good there too. As you say, simple and profound.

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