In Touch April 15, 2011
Posted on April 15, 2011 by under Touché,

The Wonderful Cross

It has been a week of great theology.  My ChristCare group met this morning  to decide definitively between free will and  predestination (we didn’t).   A woman was in my office talking to me about the need to have some messages on our understanding of Hell.  I had multiple conversations about Rob Bell’s new book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. I had another conversation with a person who was struggling to make the connection with God and it was just not working.   I met with about 15 kids who will be coming to the table for the first time and we talked about baptism, communion and the church.

My favorite theological reflection came from a second grader who visited our church on Sunday and said “Jesus isn’t on the cross.”  Her Nana brought her to church and they had a great conversation about the differences between the Roman Catholic Church and the protestant church.   That conversation led me to consider what it would be like to bring a crucifix into our church for Good Friday.  To actually see the suffering Christ on the cross would be a shock for us at Hopewell.  I am sure we are more comfortable with an empty cross and the assurance that “he is risen.”

I think we can move too quickly to the joy of Easter morning and forget the pain that was suffered as Christ descended into hell.  For many, the worship of Holy Week includes only the celebration of Palm Sunday and the celebration of Easter.  I hope you open yourself to all of our worship opportunities this week.  Thursday we meet to remember the Last Supper and share in what was the Passover meal with those who will come to the table for the first time.  Good Friday we will go into the darkness of God dying on the cross for the sin of the world.  Easter dawn we wake up with the confusion of the disciples, who wondered “what exactly has happened here?”  Easter Sunday the fog will be cleared and we will lift high the cross, a torture instrument now lifted as a sign of victory of life over death, of good over evil, a sure and certain hope.

The joy of Easter comes into full focus when we understand the pain of the cross.  Jesus isn’t on the cross, but it was on that cross the Prince of Glory died;           my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (Paul)

May you have a passionate Holy Week.

In Christ,