Our devotional Scripture reading on this Good Friday is from Luke 14:27-28. “Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it?”
This morning I joined with over 70 others from several countries to walk the Stations of the Cross with our friends on the US/Mexico border. For 20 years a time of remembrance has occurred on Good Friday along the border wall in Douglas/Agua Prieta (where our group traveled in January). This year it had to be on Zoom. During the call we held up crosses in our own homes, crosses bearing the names of God’s beloved children who died making the journey across the Sonoran desert. We held the crosses high, spoke their names, and all responded with “Presente!” I don’t know the story of Valentin Zavara Martinez, whose name I shared, but I know Valentin is a beloved child of God.
Hear these words of Jim Perdue that were read this morning as the crosses were lifted...
“Nailed to the cross; processed for deportation; victimized by natural disaster – three different ways that people can be marginalized and removed from a society. Jesus was stripped of everything: contact with his family, identity, personal belongings, and dignity. He was stripped bare before the world. He became homo sacer – life to be sacrificed. As people are returned to the south side of this border, they, too, are stripped of everything except the change of used clothes they are given to wear. They are dropped off beyond the gates of this land, stripped of contact with family and community, stripped of any documents they may have been carrying along with all cash and possessions, and stripped of their saints and recuerdos. When they are finally “released” at the border, their only option is to “cross over;” and they will not even be welcomed with open arms by many people they are deemed to have forsaken. Each one crosses over now as bare life, to be sacrificed. Today, the border has become a cross, in the same way that the cross was once a border – each is a Passover.”
May God be with you today, may God be with those walking in the desert today, and may we take up our crosses for the sake of love and justice. Amen