While others are examining the lack of consents for the bishop-elect of South Carolina and others are debating the proper use of secular material at funerals, I am sitting in an Atlanta hotel room, waiting to feel well enough to even go home. This is not self-pity because the hotel room is quiet, comfortable and doesn’t have two beloved cats crawling all over me. I get fed and watered and pampered.
Dennis, Grandmere Mimi and Rev Sam debate why Jesus died on the cross, and all I can think is “It’s the Incarnation that matters, not the resurrection.” But, that puts me clearly in a heretical viewpoint when I deny substitutionary atonement. I just want to get that poor tortured man down off that cross. Like some who commented on Wounded Bird, I believe that Jesus, the Christ, died for us but not necessarily as a sacrifice to God so our sins would be forgiven. I've put away my many crosses because I think "that's not what this is all about; it's about Jesus life and ministry."
God’s been forgiving sins for a long time, and, at various places in the Bible, God says that sacrifices of animals and such are not good – a contrite heart is. So here comes Jesus to lead us into this contrite heart business by bringing us closer to God and by letting God know what it is like to be human. Jesus is saying and doing things contrary to the majority opinion at the time – secular and religious. So, like a lame-duck informant, Jesus has to go. Crucifying him as a common criminal would likely stop his following, they thought.
Unfortunately, they did not recognize that Jesus was the Christ, God incarnate. And, so, God lives within our hearts and minds and souls much closer than if the Christ had not come. Jesus’ death on the cross is a stark reminder of the lengths to which God will go to maintain a relationship with us. It is truth spoken to power with terrifying results of crucifixion.
Christians in many places are speaking this same truth to power with similar terrifying results. I am not now though I did for a number of years. I’m tired, and I’ve been sick for a long time, and all I want right now is to feel better enough to tell some friends who have asked about Creation Theology. I have a little energy left to keep telling the Good News to those who wish to hear. The rest of you will have to deal with the lack of signatures on consents, the handling of funerals, and the heavier theological issues. Not that I don’t have opinions about things nor that I don’t enjoy the debates, but I don’t have the energy to preach to the choir. Y’all are doing a good job of keeping us on our toes and our voices in good order.