Sunday, January 26, 2014


     Sometimes it bothers me that the greatest symbol of Christianity is a cross, be it an empty cross or a crucifixion.  It sometimes bothers me that our love for God and devotion to him is solely because Jesus died for our sins when that's not even the greatest part of the story.
     In the show Vikings, the vikings invade northern England for the first time and come upon a monastery; they see the image of a crucifixion and say "Their god is dead," when that is not the case.
     The greatest part of the story is not that Jesus God died for our sins but that he is alive!  Sometimes I see the image of Jesus with a crown of thorns and want to rip that crown off his head and proclaim "That is not the end of the story!  There is life!" *
     I love that G.K. Chesterton quote: Fairy tales don't tell children dragons exist; children already know this.  Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be defeated.  And in Christianity (the only fairy tale/myth that actually happened) Jesus God defeated the dragon that is Death.  He is alive and the battle is won, victory is his.**
     The greatest part of the story is God is alive, the dragon has been defeated.  And all of our struggles, all of our trials, the big things and little things -- all of our dragons and deaths -- can be defeated, and we will live.  Because of God.
     I've often lamented the fact that the image of a cross -- empty or not -- is a lot easier to replicate than the image of an empty tomb.

*Anyone else hearing a conversation between two Rivendell elves in your head right now?
**This line from John Dunne's poem "Death be not Proud" comes to my mind here: "And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die."