It is Finished

It is Finished

It is Finished

It is Finished

It is Finished

It is Finished

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This Sunday of Lent, we continue our reflections on the ‘seven last words’ spoken by Jesus from the Cross in light of our Congregational Position Papers. This week, we recall the sixth words, “It is Finished,linking these with our position on Gender-Based Violence.

Jesus said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30)

Jesus was a victim of humiliation and violence: he was publicly stripped naked at least three times during his crucifixion ordeal. Now, hanging on the cross, most probably naked – a practice used by soldiers to intimidate, terrorize, and shame victims – Jesus cries out in triumph: the victim has become the victor.

Our position on gender-based violence, particularly of women and girls in situations of prostitution, identifies its core in social and political structures and practices that devalue and exclude. We see its root causes as tied to poverty, patriarchy, male privilege, extreme wealth, racist attitudes, militarization, ecological degradation, inadequate family support, and the demand by men for women to be available for sexual purchase.

Our first response as a Congregation is to express solidarity with those who are vulnerable to gender-based violence. With the participation of those in situations of prostitution, we seek to end this violence through programs such as that at our Good Shepherd Home in Karjat, India, where mothers in situations of prostitution work with us to ensure their children are protected from second-generation prostitution.

Today, we are the living hands and feet of Jesus, and to each a gift has been given for use in the work of his mission – which is not finished. Use your gifts to condemn sexualized images in advertising, to challenge the use of pornography, and to critique the popular proliferation of attitudes that humiliate and demean women and their bodies.

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