Friday, March 25, 2016
I'm not sure that you, dear readers, will be inclined to ponder this blog on Good Friday, but here I am. Last Sunday --Palm/Passion Sunday -- I chose to preach about the cross and crucifixion because we don't all that often. at least not in liberal Protestant churches. And folk tend to avoid Good Friday services in droves, so even this opportunity is minimized.
We Christians recognize that our faith differs from others in that God is incarnate, human, in the person of Jesus. The teaching, the preaching, the healing of Jesus' ministry all matter for us. We also recognize that while the gospels offer all this, they aren't biographies. The central message and the greatest amount of "coverage' in the gospels is given to the final days of Jesus' life and ministry. His crucifixion is both a scandal and the power of God's radical identification with us, setting us free from sin and sorrow.
I am reminded that the darkness of a fallen world besets us daily. The tragic attacks in Brussels on Tuesday show us how evil the hearts of individuals and groups can be. Terrorist acts are carried out for reasons that are really not reasons and the innocent perish. A number of writers have pointed out that this happens daily around the world but we are captivated by Brussels because these are people who share many of our cultural norms.
While the cross is a Christian symbol we sense that this in-the-flesh love for humanity is indispensable in comprehending the sadness and evil of our world and the possibility of redemption. The particularity and scandal of the cross will always involve mystery, yet we look to Jesus, the Crucified One for light in the darkness. Our faith is cruciform.