Living the Last Words

by Demi Prentiss

We’re about to enter Holy Week, an opportunity to feel the power and the poignancy of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. We can choose to walk through those eight days as a memorial, a tradition, a liturgical banquet, a personal sacrifice. For me, this Lent, I’m drawn to reflect deeply on how each day’s drama is challenging me to live differently, starting now. How might my daily life be transformed?

My prayer is for God to change my heart. This song, “Last Words” by Karl Kohlhase has offered me a framework to press into opening my heart more fully. It calls me to see the habits I must let go to allow my heart to be – every day – more tender, trusting, thankful, holy, loving, perfect, and faithful.

May you listen and be challenged as I have been:

"Father, forgive them, they know not what they do,”
I hear you pray for those who torture you.
These are the words that tear my grudges all apart.
Create in me a tender heart.
 
You turn your head to address a dying thief.
“Today you’ll be in paradise with me.”
These are the words where every hopeless soul must start.
Create in me a trusting heart.
 
Your darkest hour you cried out from the tree,
“My god, my god, why have you forsaken me?”
These words of anguish pierce me through just like a dart.
Create in me a thankful heart.
 
Then unto Mary, “Woman behold your son,
Behold your mother,” your dying words to John.
These words begin a family of which I’m part.
Create in me a holy heart.
 
You said, “I thirst,” yet it was not for wine.
You thirst for love from desert souls like mine.
And with these words a flowing river you impart.
Create in me a loving heart.
 
Then “It is finished!” Your work on earth was done.
For in three days your battle would be won.
These are the words with which you crown your works of art.
Create in me a perfect heart.
 
“Into your hands, Father, I commend my breath.”
Your final prayer as you close your eyes in death.
And with these words one day I’ll fly to where you are.
Create in me, create in me, create in me a faithful heart.
                                                   “Last Words” by Karl Kohlhase

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