Monday, March 26, 2007

The Cross Of God

The shadow of the cross encroaches upon Lent, as the shadow of the earth encroaches upon the surface of the moon.

Because Jesus’ anguish is, at least in part, corporeal; because we can depict his Passion, and gaze upon our depiction; because we are young enough to believe we can imagine what it felt like; we have constructed a Christocentric cross.

But for Trinitarians, a Christocentric cross alone is an inadequate representation. Indeed, such a representation may contribute heavily to erroneous theology, such as Jesus as victim of a malevolent, vengeful, abusive patriarch; or Jesus as a masochistic uber-male ideal.

At the cross, not just Jesus’ physical body, but the Trinity is shattered; its persons dispersed:
The Father, in his heavenly palace; his radiance shrouded in grief; his face turned away from the prolonged death of his Son, as King David did before him…
The Spirit, brooding over the chaos of a satan-smashed earth, as at ‘the beginning’; watching, waiting (for the moment when she will breathe into Jesus’ nostrils, re-animating this adam who has returned to the dust from which he was made)…
The Son, laid low in Sheol, the shadowy grave…

…The central unity of the universe, scattered to three corners, to the margins.

But the Trinity is not a community that has been touched by loss, and carries on diminished, in a lessened form, growing weary unto death by implosion or explosion. Through the communitas forged in response to the cross, the eternal community of the Trinity is re-imagined, re-configured, renewed:
The Son now keeps his (transformed) bodily form, to intercede for those who share it; whereas he has pointed to the Father, now the Father exalts the Son; the Spirit will now be poured out on all flesh, young and old, male and female…

And it is precisely because the Trinity has been shattered and marginalised by hatred and re-membered anew by love that we, who have been shattered and marginalised, can be re-membered anew by that same love; and, in being re-membered, have hope to hold out to those around us.

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1 comment:

  1. This is a very helpful posting on the cross and God. Thanks