Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Holy Week Thoughts, Tuesday 31 March 2015

“The message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of The Lord.  For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent” (1 Corinthians 1:18-19).

As we continue our Holy Week journey on the pathway of the Cross, we must accept the reality of common “myth” – especially as it relates to how Christians are perceived in the world today.  While we may attend our Holy Week worship services here and there, we typically keep our devotion relatively low key and in house. 

We are aware that our culture will only accept our Christian faith as long as we continue to keep it low key and out of sight.  That is, “those who are perishing” may be offended by the very presence of a church building, but they acknowledge the church’s right to exist.  What these “perishing ones” will not acknowledge or accept or respect is the Church’s duty to not be low key, to not be silent, to not be ‘set apart’ from the dominant culture.  As we see more and more in the public arena, the culture is demanding that the Church “get with the times”.

We cannot.  We must not “get with the times”, for the time in which we live is a passing time with a very short life (and attention!) span.  This is not necessarily to insert some apocalyptic warning about the End of Days, though there is that.  It is more to acknowledge so many passing “fads” that fade with time when people lose interest in favor of something newer, shinier, and with a little more excitement.  What is for now is good for now, but it will not last.  This is the reality of history.

The world understands “myth”.  There is the myth of Bigfoot, the myth of Loch Ness to name only two.  Yet these myths do not serve humanity nor do such myths speak to the human condition (unless that condition is “gullible”).  The “myth” of the Cross, however, goes far beyond some legendary story that serves no useful purpose.  This “myth” breaks into reality when the faithful live as though it is true.  The Story of Christ is “myth” only because discipleship has lost its substance.  This is not the fault of those who do not believe.  It is the failure of those who claim to believe but choose instead to live as though it is only a “myth”; a story that may be interesting but does not require anything of us.

The Cross becomes reality only when the Faithful live as though it is real.  It is not a Story which can be read from a safe distance; it is THE Story that defines life and living, every facet of our being and our doing.  The world which is “perishing” cannot understand what they do not see, and perhaps it is the failure of the Church that has become so enamored with social media that real (rather than virtual) relationships no longer exist.  Just post a “Jesus thing” on Facebook, and call it a day.

This is not who we are called to be.  If we are the Body of Christ Himself in the world today, there has to be more.  Yes, Jesus would probably use social media if He were walking with us today, but His message would be more like, “Meet Me in the Garden, and we’ll talk … but you need to show up”.  For Christ Jesus, in order to be the Great Shepherd and the Savior of the world, must be experienced face-to-face. 

This is why the Church exists.  Myths and legends have their place in American lore, but our Shepherd is very real.  He cannot be followed “virtually”, for this is what makes Him a “myth” in the minds of a “perishing” world.  When He is experienced first-hand through the power and the fellowship of the Church, He becomes the New Reality for those were once “perishing” but are soon “being saved” from the brink of the abyss.

This is our journey.  This is our Reality.  This indeed is our Life.



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