So I just finished my talks concerning Advent at BCM. I am hoping to put my first two talks entirely on this blog at some point… but not right now. Right now I am too tired and in the midst of wanting/needing rest.
I am also in the middle of being unable to get away from my second talk of Advent about the pattern of the cross given to us from the Bible. I am not entirely sure why I currently tend to be attracted to edgy theology, but I am. I appreciate what seems to be new thought, at least to me. So perhaps it isn’t so edgy or new… rather it is unknown by me. I have been thinking a lot about the cross and how I view it. And I am not so happy with myself and my typically narrow view of the cross. I typically view it as something that happened long ago and I continue to tell God thank you for it… over and over again. There has to be more… more than saying thank you… more than atonement theories. I don’t want to stop at the cross.
I seem to remember Jesus asking us to follow him… even to pick up our own cross. The Bible mentions death and life, transformation and new creation. So is the cross more than something to “believe in”? Maybe the process of the cross is precisely what “converts” us… the pattern is the catalyst for our transformation. I’m not talking about the event that happened so long ago, but the cross still happening today… in us, through us and for us. Are we too supposed to become love… because love covers a multitude of sins? Are we too supposed to forgive and even become victims for the sake of love… become the scapegoat and return curses with blessing like Stephen? Are we called to follow the transformative pattern of the cross or simply stop and stare and say thank you… (thank you for showing us the way, the truth and the life)?
Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that I don’t love the cross or I am not thankful. In fact, I am saying exactly the opposite. I love it so much, I am so thankful that to stop short seems to miss the point of it. When I look at the cross my heart should break for all the blaming and accusing that goes on… especially all the violence and evil that I continue to make a reality. How can I ever point the finger? Why would I ever throw a stone?
Jesus demonstrated the path and the pattern into death and resurrection and new life. The cross must happen if I am ever to become something different… if I am ever to be “born again” into a life that is filled with love and truth. I am recently loving the verse Luke 1:77, “He will give the people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.” He forgave us so long ago and in doing so revealed the truth of this life. We have the knowledge, but are we truly “saved”? I guess a better question at this time of year would be, “Do we repeat the sounding joy?”