“They compelled a passer-by who was coming in from the country to carry his cross. It was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.” (Mark 15: 21, NRSV)
I believe in God, who needed help.
“You’ve done so well.” comes the whisper in his ear, the hand on his shoulder. “You’ve been so strong.” For just a moment, the weight of the cross eases. “Now, let me help you. You don’t have to do this on your own.”
He did battle with his demons in Gethsemane. He didn’t break down when one friend turned against him or when another turned his face to the wall. He stood unflinching before Pilate.
He had been the one to guide them, to protect them, to save them. He had healed the sick and raised the dead and comforted the mourning. He had sheltered the weak and defended the vulnerable. He had gone up against all the authorities and never faltered. He had given everything he had to give, and he had asked for nothing in return.
Who will save the Saviour?
How much can one person take before it becomes too much? And who will be there for us when it does?
God of compassion, we are lonely and in pain and feel that we cannot go on.
As we call to mind the kindness of Simon,
we offer thanks for those who shelter and protect.
For those who offer the gifts of friendship and love.
For those who have reached out to us in our times of need.
For those who put the needs of others above their own.
For those involved in charitable work.
And we ask for you to pour down your grace and blessing upon them.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God.