Lents I Have Known: 4

Here’s something I wish I were doing this Lent (so, technically, this is a Lent I wish to know). I wish that I were in Oklahoma City to see Mark Osler and Jeanne Bishop do the Trial of Christ on March 25 at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Jeanne plays Christ’s defender, and Mark serves as Christ’s prosecutor—a role that hurts him to play. This will be the final of five presentations the two of them have done in 2012.

I met Mark when I interviewed him as the 2009 Wacoan of the Year. He is the most remarkable person I’ve ever met, and his work to reform the criminal justice system may be some of the most important being done in the country. He was raised as a Quaker, and those ideas still undergird his beliefs, although he has become an Episcopalian. He has taught at two law schools: one Baptist (Baylor University), and now, a Catholic one (University of St. Thomas).

Some of you may know him from his op-ed pieces for the Huffington Post. Some may read his blog, “Osler’s Razor” at www.oslersrazor.blogspot.com. It’s the first thing I read every morning. The “failed liturgical dancer” part of my bio is his gift to me for co-winning Haiku Friday.

Mark’s book, “Jesus on Death Row: The Trial of Jesus and American Capital Punishment,” was the first I ever bought on my Kindle. He was a federal prosecutor during the Clinton administration, and his book about Jesus’s arrest, trial, and execution is written through the lens of Texas criminal law. The book and the Trial of Christ are interlinked.

Mark is also a great guy. He bought me lunch when he shouldn’t have because it was the kind thing to do, and he forgave me when I screwed up really badly.

During this season of Lent, I urge you to commemorate the passion of Christ in a new way. Read Mark’s book or, if you’re in Oklahoma City, attend the Trial of Christ. You can also see a 56-minute video of the sentencing phase of the trial presented at the University of St. Thomas School of Law on YouTube at http://bit.ly/GDpsoO.



  1. Reblogged this on Emails to God and commented:
    This is from my wife’s blog, which is always good and sometimes brilliant. This particular post is about a unique perspective on Jesus’ “trial” and death sentence.

  2. Wow – very impressive! Thanks for the introduction.

  3. First, I need to say just how crazy, happy I am about your husband’s comment above. Girl, he’s so proud of you!

    Commemorate the passion in a new way. I like that better than trying to do what everyone else is doing.

  4. “…he forgave me when I screwed up really badly.”

    If that isn’t the finest thing to be known for.

  5. It sounds most intriguing….alas I am far from Texas. Our system does need reform, but it’s mind boggling as to where to start

  6. thank you for this, megan. for making lent more real to me. e.

  7. Oh, I wish I were doing this too. Sounds so deep and meaningful.

    I’m behind on life again, Megan. Maye that’s where I”m supposed to be. Thinking of you.

  8. Wow, Megan. Thank you.

    I really wish that you could have been there today, too– it was remarkable. Every seat in the church was taken (500+ people) and they set up an overflow room. There was an incredible energy there, and our witnesses were wonderful. They are televising it, and I’m hoping the tape goes on the internet. It was a memorable day already, and then I found your kind words.

    As you know, I have an important short talk to give on Saturday in Waco, and I hope that I can be as eloquent and kind as you have been.


  1. […] to see Mark Osler and Jeanne Bishop do the Trial of Jesus at First Baptist. I wrote about the trial last year, but this was my first time to see it. I met Osler four years ago, and it was great to see him […]