It’s Good Friday.
And this morning… violence.
In shadow-filled corners of this world. In city streets on the other side of the ocean. In the Holy City itself.
Have we learned nothing in two-thousand years?
There are many within the Christian fold who believe that the cross stands as authorization to do harm to those who do not believe. To those who refuse to accept something we say. To those who are not following some arbitrary set of rules that we have set.
Obviously, they have never read the gospel accounts. For if they had, they would realize that Jesus never said believe – he said follow me. He taught consistently against the conformist “traditionalist” viewpoints of his day that caused people harm. He stood up to and eventually railed against draconian and oppressive laws set by men that brought violence into people’s lives, whether it was physical, social, economic, emotional, or any other form. And his cross, well, it stands in sound and sober judgement of the very worst of what we humans can do to one another.
Our God is one who chose to demonstrate the truth of what sovereignty, what power is meant to look like by taking up a cross, stretching out Christ’s arms, and pouring out a love that is stronger than even death.
On the day we remember that death, all violence should give us pause. It should break our hearts – because we should know, that it is not just our hearts that are breaking.