Thursday, April 9, 2009

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.  Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Mahatma Gandhi


On this day before Good Friday, I want to reflect on how little we resemble Christ, NOT as a way to beat up Christians (after all, will the person in the room who isn't a hypocrite please stand up?  There, you just found your hypocrite), but as a reminder how much we/I need a Savior.  The Good Friday cross brings to mind so many things, but the latest visions are particularly brutal to me this year, having just watched a PBS special where an anthropologist did various high-tech scans of an antiquated specimen, a human heel-bone pierced by a Roman nail.  The computer simulations illustrated graphically what would have happened inside a body after that nail was inserted, and the chain of indescribable suffering that would follow.


Can anything but horror and incredulity be an adequate response that treatment of one human being by another? 

Call me slow, but I just got something really central to the faith.  All these years I've been critical and dismissive of my own level of spiritual surrender (or more appropriately, lack thereof) because even though I am to metaphorically "die to self" everyday as a follower of Christ, it's usually pretty symbolic.  Sure, I'll surrender my rights/wants/needs here and there, even if I don't really love the recipient of whatever limited "grace" I have to offer.  And of course I would lay down my life for my children, and maybe even for someone else if that's what was required.  But that's a tremendous MAYBE ~ God's grace would definitely have to be acting for me to be that surrendered at that moment.  But even then I'm thinking a quick bullet to the brain, or something equally instantaneous and relatively suffering-free.  And I'm not really thinking about it at all, in terms of the full trauma of expectation and knowing what's going to happen.

But to choose a death like He endured?

Never.  Not in my wildest dreams.  That is a level of Willingness and Acceptance that I truly cannot fathom.  And somehow, in my warped (works rather than faith-based) walking out of salvation, I've held that as a minus against ME and my spiritual immaturity.  But it's not about me.  It's about Him. What he was willing to do, "while we were yet in our sin."  While we continue (even years after being saved, see above mentioned hypocrite) in our rebellion and hard-heartedness.  He still would do that for us; He still loves us that much.

So this Good Friday the kids and I are taking some food to the Healing Center (pantry), delivering some chocolate bunnies to some kids who probably won't get much from the Easter Bunny, and thinking about how much we've been given.

Happy Easter!   : )

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