For Good Friday

Jesus

"Any authenticity that we are going to have as persons of faith and any authority that we are going to have as witnesses to the gospel of Jesus Christ will come because of our exposure to bruises and scars. There is no other way to authenticity. There is a certain counterfeit pose that one may maintain, but as to an entrance into the full, the true authority, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, that comes by exposure and by wounds. There is no other way. If one looks back at those who have deeply affected their generation, the discovery will be made that almost without exception they did it against some minus, some ache, some pain in their own lives ...

At some time, who can say when, there will be a crown of thorns pressed down upon your head. It may be some private anguish. It may be some profoundly disturbing condition in your own family. One cannot detail the direction whence the affliction will come, but when it does, you will have every right to rail against it and to cry out against that kind of providence, even to argue with God, to withstand him to the face ...

But do one other thing. Take it. Accept. For was it not our Lord's word that the cup he looked into, the awful agony which waited for him, did not come from unfriendly hands: "The cup which my Father hath given, shall I not drink of it?"

I promise you this, if you can take whatever deep hurt that occurs in your life and hold it up before God and say to him, even in bitterness, of this which you despise and this which you hate, "If there is anything you can do with it, take, and use it."

I promise you, you will be utterly amazed at what will occur," - Gardner C. Taylor, sermon delivered February 1, 1978. A Charlie Rose interview can be seen with him here.