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Daily Devotional for July 7


July 7                                                              Luke 23:26-31

Jesus had choices on the road to Calvary. He could have spoken
up at his trials and defended himself. He could have promised
to cease his activities and gone back home to his family and
the local carpentry shop. But his commitment led him on.

On the other hand, Simon of Cyrene had no choice. The
Roman officers seized him as he traveled on his own private
journey, laid the cross on him, and demanded that he carry
it behind Jesus to Calvary. There is no room for Simon's reac-
tion to his forced servitude, nor is any description of his future
to be found in the Gospels, even though three of the Gospels
record this event in exact detail.

Simon of Cyrene's crossing of the stage of history in this way
reminds us of all those others whose fate is sealed through
no choice or conscious decision of their own. Their life
journeys from one experience to another are suddenly inter-
rupted by some circumstance which compels their immediate
involvement and changes the course of their lives, perhaps
even their ultimate fate. Black women and men, especially,
have, identified with Simon in bearing their own unchosen
burdens and oppression. Indeed, Simon continues to live in
all those who bear indignities and trials through no choice or
fault of their own.

Simon of Cyrene and all his brothers and sisters, his heirs of
every generation, of every race, of every nation, of every sex-
ual orientation, want to understand the "why" of the burdens
of their lives. Perhaps some intimate word or gesture or glance
between Jesus and Simon, his cross-bearer, unknown and
unrecorded for history, may have redeemed this passer-by's
burden and endowed it with meaning. If not, he too waits with
the many.

[Bare the cross you are given knowing that your service honors

God. L.M.]

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.198

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