Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Post ... The Cross

I’ve got some good stuff to get to in a second but we need to tell a little back-story first…

Good Friday, the day that Christ was crucified, with out this we cant have Easter, as a child growing up Baptist I know I heard the story of the crucifixion at least a hundred times. As adult maybe another hundred times I’ll promise you sometimes of the telling of this event were particularly horrid… I know its wrong for me to think that some of the preachers or teachers receive some twisted pleasure on seeing just how much frightening imagery and appalling detail they can conjure up in the telling of the story.

We know it’s a tool they use to portray the sacrifice made for Christians to have salvation. It works quite well, like I’ve said I have heard the telling of the story hundreds of times and as adult who now understands a little bit about life and how precious life is, its not a far stretch for tears to come to my eyes.

I remember when my friend “April” (Coming Attractions) who I will be talked about in a future blog, told me, or tried to tell me of the horror, that was played out on the big screen, in the movie The Last Temptation of the Christ, with tears just streaming down her face, for what seemed like forever, describing in vivid detail how he was treated….

To me it just sounded horrible, unbearable and perhaps unwatchable. I remember being mid-twenties and thinking “Huh, my mother wants to see that, I don’t know I want her to see this, might give her nightmares….”

I always thought it was egocentric of me thinking it was my call to say a movie would be to “graphic” for a parent to watch, not just my parent but for any child to tell a parent what they could or could not watch.

If you have seen this movie you know what I am talking about its hard not to be overtook by grief, to turn your head away from the screen, to reluctantly admit to ourselves the price paid, then you have the disgust and distain for those who persecuted him.  

And honestly some misunderstanding as to what the heck happened and who was doing what, to whom and why…

Ok Let me get back on track, this isn’t about a movie review or to retell the story of the crucifixion…this is about a question that came to me during Ash Wednesday service, the question stirred when the pastor talked about how the cross has became the symbol of Christians the world over…  I thought to myself how true… that USE TO be… as a kid I was afraid if I wore a cross and I did something wrong it might burn my neck…. I never have wore necklaces, therefore I have never wore a cross, then lots of the things I’ve done I felt wearing a cross would be terribly hypocritical.

Now it seams a the cross is more of a fashion accessory than a declaration of Christianity, There is a Bling’ed – Out cross on almost everything that a woman could buy, purses, wallets, belts, boots, ear rings, the pocket of $120 “Miss Me” jeans…. You can get diner plates, electric light switch covers, doorknockers, … and hundred of other knick-knacks with crosses on them. The other day while loitering in a southwest furniture store, I saw these fifty gallon barrels filled to the top with metal crosses to use as decorations in a home, there were even table chairs with the Cross branded into the chair-backs….

A ex-girlfriend, got me a cross to hang as peace of wall art ….It is the cross pictured above… she thought I should have a cross…. she thought it was odd that I did not have a cross anywhere in my house…. Me… I thought it was odd that she looked to see if I had across in my house… no better that I pay attention some days… Heck I would have never noticed that I didn’t have a cross in my house…. I am glad she got it for me… its one of my favorite things.

I guess what I am getting at is that the cross’s image is or has became less effective…

My other thought is WHY?.....Why did it become so popular?  The cross was the ultimate form of humiliation; it was not something to be looked up to… to be admired….

No one would get a tattoo of an eclectic chair? Or wear a emblem of one around ones neck?....Would they?

The cross was punishment, it was again a sign of humiliation, where you would be poked at, spat at, and ridiculed…. then it became glorified…. Or at least it was…. Don’t get me wrong I understand, why it was glorified as a holy symbol… the stained glass in old churches with Jesus hanging from the cross… as a kid it was quite scary… least for me it was… In Catholic Churchs they have crosses who still have Jesus hanging from the it… My mother use to have a some kind of problem with that… not sure why… I don’t know if it matters.

I don’t have a real solid closing to this blog, I guess most times I start with a Idea… and by the time I get done traveling down what ever path I seem to let my mind wander…

I end up with some form of conclusion…

Not this time…

Well maybe…

On the other just might have.

I do, I have a parting thought,

“What if folks in society stopped using the cross as a decoration and started useing it as a declaration”.

Hope you had a great EASTER....

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