Sunday, January 29, 2012

 

Sunday Reflection: The Cross


There are two Craigs on this blog-- one of whom mentored me, and one of whom I like to imagine that I mentored. The former is Craig Anderson, who played a key role in the formation of what I find to be important, when I worked for him in Student Life. He wrote a beautiful piece in the Richmond Times-Dispatch yesterday, and this was at the core of it:

Every Sunday as I enter my church, I am greeted by a rendering of the crucified Christ upon the cross — a common image in many churches, in all its disturbing glory.

The cross upon which Christ was crucified is the dominant image of, for and about Christianity.

The cross and the crucifixion have several levels of meaning for Christians. On the most basic level, the image of the crucified Christ is an abject symbol of man's inhumanity to man, as well as the horrific outcome of capital punishment. A man sentenced to death and nailed to a cross for a slow, painful, public death.


That image of Christ on the cross, or the cross alone, has so many meanings, all of them deep. It is one of the things that I do when I inventory a church-- I look at the crosses they have, and what they have to say. There are bare wood ones, some merely draped, others bearing a simple figure, and many with a fully-formed and gruesome Christ on it.

If we see the cross in so many ways, should it be surprise (or bad) that we see his message in so many ways?

Comments:
I like this. It is something I have been reflecting on for a while as well.

Here is a link to some of what I wrote on the cross shortly after graduating from Fuller.

Introduction
http://davidphilipbest.blogspot.com/2007/01/scandal-of-cross-1.html

Summary
http://davidphilipbest.blogspot.com/2007/03/scandal-of-cross-5.html

Conclusion
http://davidphilipbest.blogspot.com/2007/03/scandal-of-cross-conclusions-and.html

In this series I walked through some of the metaphors and symbols that people have used at different times in history, and then try to ask some real world questions about them and how we can apply them.
 
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