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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When I Survey that wondrous cross

My college roommate once remarked that he couldn't think of Jesus on the cross without coming to tears at such incredible suffering. The fate of Jesus, suffocating on the cross as he did, is indeed a gruesome way to die. And if you add to that death its importance in the relationship drama between God and humanity...well, you have a passion that is almost too much to bear.

A few years ago when Mel Gibson came out with his movie "The Passion of Christ" we saw in graphic detail what Jesus may have experienced. From the earliest recorders of Jesus story we have some words (traditionally seven phrases) that Jesus uttered from the cross. All of them were some version of prayer or hope that the world would be a better place. 2000 years after his death I wonder how much better it is?

Do we love God more now than then?
Are we respectful and nicer to our neighbors and strangers than they were then?
Do we care about our parents and friends more than they did then?
Is now a more tolerant and loving time than it was then?
Are we more patient with people now than they were then?
Would we still put Jesus up on the cross if we got the chance?

The cross, like our baptism, is a daily reminder of the struggle life is. It has never been easy to live, never been a carefree happy time like the TV commercials seem to make life out to be...We have needed a cross eternally, and at least since Jesus' death, we have one...and here is the interesting thing about that cross. It is now empty...just like the tomb where his dead body lay. Maybe, just maybe, we too have an empty cross and tomb in our future?

May your tables be full and your conversations be true.

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