Tuesday in Holy Week...

As Holy Week matures, there are still a few notes to share about emerging notions of Christ's atoning work on the Cross.  I hope to get to them this evening and later tomorrow; I have finished Easter's message but now must attend to the practice for Good Friday music and Maundy Thursday liturgy.  In that spirit, I share a post from Fr. Richard Rohr who summarizes my working theology of atonement most clearly as follows:
You alone, Lord Jesus, refused to be crucifier, even at the cost of being crucified.   You never play the victim, you never ask for vengeance, but you only breathe forgiveness.   While we, on this fearful earth, murder, mistrust, attack and hate.   Now I see that it is not you that humanity hates; we hate ourselves, but mistakenly kill you.

I must stop crucifying your blessed flesh on this earth and in my brothers and sisters, and in every form of life, whether innocent or guilty, worthy or unworthy.   We are all your blessed Body, and you have always loved me precisely in my unworthiness.   How can I not do the same to others?

This wisdom is taken from the ground-breaking work of Rene Girard.  I am also very moved by the clarity and gritty passion of Rob Bell's recent work, LOVE WINS, who writes:

Millions have been taught that if they don't believe (in the story that Jesus died for them) - if they don't accept the story in the right way, that is, the way the person telling them the  gospel does, and they ere hit by a car and died later that same day, God would have no choice but to punish them forever in conscious torment in hell.  God would, in essence, become a fundamentally different being to them in that moment of death, a different being to them forever. A loving heavenly father who will go to extraordinary lengths to have a relationship would, in a blind of an eye, become a cruel, mean, vicious tormentor who would ensure that they had no escape from and endless future of agony.

If there was an earthly father who was like that, we would call the authorities. If there was an actual human dad who was that volatile, we would contact child protection services immediately... so know this:  the gospel is BETTER than that!

Thanks be to God - Bell rocks - more to follow.

Comments

Black Pete said…
Steve Bell, a (Canadian) national treasure. Incredible live, too. Thanks for this, James.
RJ said…
I am so grateful that you turned me on to this guy, my man!

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