We enter the season of Lent at a time of peril in our nation and world. People are rising up, some emboldened by the presidency of Donald Trump and the ascendancy of the alt-right, and some determined to stand in the way of injustice and oppression in all its forms. Christians have a particular responsibility, since without the high turnout of white Evangelical voters Trump would probably not be president today.
As Christians, where we stand politically has a lot to do with how we understand the meaning of Jesus’ death. “The word of the cross” is at the heart of Christian faith. We might prefer going from the glory of Transfiguration Sunday to the joy of Easter without reflecting on the drama that leads to Jesus’ suffering and death. But as Dorothee Solle said,
“Naturally one can develop a theology that no longer has the somber cross at its center. Such an attempt deserves criticism not because it bids farewell to Christianity as it has been, but because it turns aside from reality, in the midst of which stands the cross.”
The execution of Jesus was not a one-time thing. Christ continues to be crucified as today’s ruling Powers enlist human beings in their service, subject the most vulnerable to abuse and oppression, wreak violence around the world, and plunder the earth for their own gain. Our goal during Lent is to remember the path Jesus walked and accompany him on his way to the cross, to fully surrender to God as he did, and to act in solidarity with those who are being crucified on the cross of Empire today, as he was so long ago.
My blog postings during this season will focus on how people who seek to follow Jesus can throw off despair and complacency, expose disempowering and hate-filled teachings that claim to be Christian, and reclaim the gospel (good news) as a force for peace, justice, and the healing of the earth. If you follow this blog, please post your comments. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
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