My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Going Theological On You Tonight . . . 

if I may.

[ed. note: yes, I'm straying afield tonight--out of both my normal schtick and, perhaps, well out of my comfort zone/area of expertise; as in all these writings, these are my view and should in no way be mistaken for doctrine. I do, however, invite and welcome comment and dialogue to further both my understanding and that of my readers]

Today is, of course, Good Friday in the tradition of most Western Christians. It is the beginning of the central event in the Faith of billions all over the world, an event that culminates in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter morning. Our family did our normal ritual tonight--church service followed by Easter egg coloring for the littler ones followed by a re-viewing of Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ for the Mrs., me and our oldest.

And, as I was sitting watching Passion, a few things struck me. First, the horror that I felt the first three or four times has faded--I know the degree of violence and I know where its coming, so I can brace myself. But the more I watch, the more spiritually troubled I became. And not just for the obvious implications for my Faith.

I am shamed to admit that I think--I know--that were I confronted as Peter was, I would have likely denied my Lord; that is, if I had even had the courage to be on the scene to begin with--more likely, I would have run from the garden and gone into hiding like most of the twelve. How odd that the only followers of Christ that stayed with him through the ordeal were his mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, and the disciple John (the Beloved)--how lonely it must have been, even though Jesus surely knew that that was what was coming.

And so--at least in the Gibson telling--all the compassionate moments and the small kindnesses and acts of courage fell to people on the "outside" who had been touched by Jesus. The wife of Pilate bringing towels to Mary, the young mother wiping his face and offering drink, Simon chasing away the rabble--whether or not these are "historically accurate" or not, the point made is that a light in the world will be reflected in sometimes surprising ways. Christ's impact came back to him, not through those closest to him, but through those once removed who recognized him for what he was.

I also am amazed every time I watch it at the courage or devotion or . . . whatever . . . that His parents show in this ordeal. As a father, there is NOTHING that I wouldn't do to protect my children, and yet God--knowing full well the horror of a Roman crucifixion--submitted his Son to all of the hideous detail of it; Mary, though warned "a sword will pierce," still acted throughout what we know of her life with the utmost humility in Faith to God. I don't think I ever quite appreciated the power of Christ's death until I was a dad, and could look at it as not just Jesus' sacrifice, but a great and unmatchable gift from God, the Father, with the help of His handmaiden, Mary.

And, so, I find as I watch it that the moments that bring tears are not the horrific ones, but the small ones. And one of my favorites--perhaps the signature moment of the movie for me--is when Mary runs to Jesus as he falls on the path, simultaneously reliving a scene from His very human childhood, to touch His face and be told "See, mother, I make all things new."

And as you're contemplating "new," in this context, I recommend IN THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE TERMS that you hit this link and watch this video. If you've never seen it before, sit back, turn up the sound and let it wash over you.

God gives gifts in sometimes strange and enigmatic ways--and, in so doing, makes the world a vastly more interesting place. In effect, He is constantly making "all things new," if you're just willing to look for it a little.

What that means in the "real world" tomorrow, with an emphasis on courage and being a light.

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?