Tragedy continues to strike in our world. Hard. People get hurt. People cause terror. Hatred runs rampant.
And what do we do?
“It’s not my responsibility, right?” “I never caused any harm.” “I have a [insert token] friend, so I can’t possibly be this kind of hateful…”
Sure. Keep running with that.
Next week is Holy Week. And though that does not affect any but the Christian world, allow me to remind those who would follow Christ about its most central tenant.
At the heart of everything else that will occur is a cross. On the place of the Skull – outside the city where normal people live. Calvary was a place considered cursed and damned by God and humans.
And that cross holds together an ultimate paradox, one that we cannot shy away from:
On the one hand, the arms stretched out on that cross represent a Love that will go to any and every length to serve another. Which means that for anyone who has ever been degraded, subjugated, oppressed, trampled, broken, destroyed – that cross is beautiful good news of how well you are loved in the face of all the hatred that the world consistently bombards you with.
On the other hand, the planks of wood represent the very worst of humanity and what we can do to one another. Our complicity. Our hatred. Our degradation. For make no mistake – it is we, it is I who crucified our Lord. We – every single follower of Christ – we are all complicit. Every single time we ignore malice, enmity, persecution, abuse, subjugation, suppression, tyranny, repression, exploitation, humiliation, shame, indignity, debasement, death, and so many other things. Not only when we commit these crimes, but when we ignore them and allow them to be accomplished on our watch – we are just as guilty as those who perpetrate them. And then we have hit the nail in a bit further.
So what’s the point of Holy Week?
It’s a wakeup call for all of us, especially those of us who would rather just comfortably stick our heads in the sand as the world around us falls apart. We are followers of the Crucified God. Such willful ignorance is Sin. And God will hold us liable.
My best advice is to come to the cross. Come and die to all that the world may offer. Come and learn what it means to really live – live as followers of Love crucified.