What is at the heart of our Christianity? Certainly there is the Grace that welcomes all of us just as we are. Forgiveness. Sacrifice. The ultimate healing and wholeness (shalom) in the salve of salvation. There is God’s love embodied in the way we love others; in the way we know we are in communion with all that is. There is that overwhelming gratefulness we feel and live with as people of God.
As we move into the last few weeks of lent and prepare for the festival that is resurrection, we also know that at the heart of our Christianity is this dark and glorious piece of timber called the cross. It is the place where God’s verticality (heaven’s awesome perfection) meets God’s creation (our half-asleep and incomplete everyday). It is where the immortal and most holy dies in helpless degradation. It is the place where our God of all hopefulness cries out in ultimate despair. At the cross all our hatreds (not forgiveness), all our limited and limiting values (you did wrong Jesus and must pay), all our brokenness (broken? I’m not broken, this little Galilean is broken) meet up with a love that sacrifices everything.
How are you preparing to meet the cross that is at our heart this season? What does it look like to not only stand at the cross in sadness, but partake of the cross until we find the life that is in it? How can we knit ourselves together in such a way that God’s awesome vertical perfection crosses into our everyday lives with a passionate love that changes the world?
Get out there, my friends. Go forth. And carry your cross.
The Very Rev. Gary Barker