THE CROSS #3

Cross #3

Cross #3

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

The idiocy of the whole idea—
to hang the foundations of our faith
on something as hideous as a cross—
is a stumbling block, a fool’s errand, a faithless endeavor!
But I wonder if the Cross is as powerful an image as we think?
Most of us have never witnessed any kind of execution.
Or participated in an act of torture.
These acts are distant and remote from most of us.
We hear about atrocities, but we are rarely touched by them.
What would be the mind boggling correlations for us?
What is it that would put a burden on our own faith
if we had to believe it to have faith?
The word I would use to describe this
would be neither burden nor shame
but preposterous.
What is it on which we might base our faith
that would be considered, preposterous?
Do we, in our age, time, and place,
even have anything close to crucifixion?
The students at Tienemon Square?
The Disappeared Ones of Nicaragua?
the Invisible Children of Uganda?
Probably not.
Somehow they have not come
to represent our own Salvation,
only the lack of it,
and have never captured the imagination
of a major part of the human race.
Still, in the end, and for me,
Crucified-On-A-Cross
wins out in the preposterous category.
Not for the same 1st and 2nd Century reasons
it held for the early Christians,
but because, and precisely because,
I have to stretch so hard
to claim
that this distant and remote action
is at the heart and soul of my own faith,
and then to profess it—
now that is truly preposterous.
I have friends,
liberal and progressive Christians,
agnostics, and atheists,
who consider me off the mark
to believe in this preposterous nonsense
of a Risen Christ,
this 2nd Person of the Trinity,
fully divine and fully
existential and historical Jesus.
They say,
“How can you, with your
education and intelligence,
believe in such swill?”
But you know what?
Dreams, myths, faith-systems,
all must be larger than
our imaginations
in order to be of consequence,
and, for me,
the Christian story,
is just preposterous enough
confounding enough
and so thoroughly flabbergasting,
and just believable enough,
to be worthy of my faith.

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