As I have done in previous Lents I am sharing a daily reflection as part of my Lenten discipline. This year I am using the “Wilderness Wanderings” theme compiled by the “Lent Photo a Day” group. The word appointed for today is “Mock.”
“The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, ‘If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!’ There was also an inscription over him, ‘This is the King of Jews.'” – Luke 23:36-38, NRSV.
What a happy concept, to “mock.” Not! It’s actually quite the downer of a concept. It is a term that is virtually never used in a positive connotation. In this passage, Jesus is on the cross being mocked by soldiers, again, not a positive thing at all.
Though, I hope and trust that none of us have been mocked like this, at a point of (or near) death, we each likely have been mocked in some way in our lives. Maybe by a bully in school? Maybe by a colleague who thought they were “just joking”? Maybe by a family member who thought they were kidding around in love?
Whatever the case may be, we have all likely been mocked at some point for some reason. It’s never a good feeling to be mocked. When you are mocked it brings
you down to a feeling of total failure, or perhaps that the entire world is against you. When you see others mocked, your heart sinks. When you see another mock someone, and then see someone who piles on with the mocking, I don’t know about you, but that really makes my heart sink. That’s partly why this political season has been so disheartening to me.
Since when is mockery something that is an approved part of public discourse?
As a Christian and Lutheran, I am reminded of the cross. Jesus faced the mockery and scorn of the world, enslaved to sin, to the point of the grotesqueness of the cross. Jesus faced the mockery of sour wine, and ultimately, wine would become a reminder of Jesus’ blood on that very cross which many of us celebrate each week with Holy Communion. In worship, when we confess our sins, known and unknown, we also confess times where we have mocked, where we have given in to the mocker, and added to the mockery. We especially must confess when we have failed to act and respond to the one with mockery, by standing up for those being mocked and to say that such mockery is not of God.
How have you been mocked? How have you responded? How do you respond when another is mocked?