Author Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum
Reflection: v. 7, ‘In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers… with loud cries and tears’
The writer of Hebrews paints a vividly contrasting image of our God made flesh, reminding us of both Christ’s glory and power as well as his humble and human sufferings. The text states that ‘in the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears.’ Before I read the texts for this week, I did not realize how much I needed this image of Jesus, how much I needed to remember that it is acceptable to break down and cry.
As a pastor, a parent, and someone who is trying their best to be a semi-functioning adult in 2021, there are times when I think I need to have it all together. There are days when I think that I have to hold the world steady for everyone else, so there is not much time for tears of my own. But here we have this lovely, even jarring image of Christ, glorious high priest who was there in all time, crying out with the same wet tears that dampen my own tender and vulnerable human flesh. Picturing this, I remember that I am human and that there is no shame in feeling human emotions. I remember there is no shame in crying out to God, filled with frustration, longing, or surrender. Human beings cry. No matter their age, position, gender-identity, or godliness—it is acceptable for human beings to feel things and cry. Withholding tears or neglecting your own feelings is not a badge of honor nor the mark of faithfulness. So in this season of turning inward and seeking truthfulness, remember that if you need to shed some tears for all the things we are mourning now or to cry out at the oft-overwhelming work that still lies ahead, do it. To cry is Christ-like.
Prayer Hear our prayers, our cries, and our tears, O God.