In other news, we went to noon mass at St Thomas on Friday and got to hear a great message from Father Dennis. He was talking about a church (I think in Great Britain?) that took down their crucifix because it was too "gruesome" and "unwelcoming".
It SO baffles me to think about the things that are welcomed into family homes...the TV shows, the Internet content, the conversations, etc. Things that bear no fruit whatsoever...and I know I am just as guilty of those things.
But, seriously. The crucifix is the very definition of love. Scripture tells us so:
Greater love has no one than this,
that he lay down his life for his friends.
I was so in awe of what Father had to say about honoring our Lord's passion.
I really liked that he also talked about the opposite being just as ridiculous...it's pointless to remember only the crucifixion. Without the resurrection, the crucifix would be exactly what these people are claiming it to be - just a horrendous image...very disturbing... and certainly not something that draws people nearer to the Lord.
But, that's just it. The crucifix is not simply about a man who was mailiciously put to death.
It's when we see the whole picture...suffering, death, new life...that we see love.
What a beautiful sacrifice.
What a an overwhelming display of devotion.
One man on behalf of many.
The righteous on behalf of the unrighteous.
Him instead of me.
Am I always comfortable as I look upon an image of my Savior on the cross? No. And I don't think I should be.
Sometimes, in fact, I feel deep agony when looking at the crucifix...because I understand the weight of what he did for me...and I know that I will never, ever be worthy. I also know that he never, ever regrets it.
I guess what I'm trying to say, is thank-you. Thank you to the churches that still believe it's okay to make people feel uncomfortable sometimes. In fact, it's necessary. How would we grow if we didn't ever step out of our convenience-driven lives?
Thank you to the faithful who believe in spreading the gospel....in it's entirity...the hard-to-swallow, painful parts and the grace-filled, refreshing parts. The gospel is not an easy message to deliver. Being a Christian is certainly not always an easy way to live. Sometimes we don't like the way it makes us feel. You know what? Sometimes, neither did Jesus. Sometimes we don't like having to be obedient to God's plan. But, in the words of one of my heroes, Jim Ott,
"Jesus didn't like the nails".