CROSS WALK. Lent tracks with Jesus as he sets out resolutely for
TWISTED IMAGERY. How does one march to death? How does one march carrying daily a cross? Marching, after all, is imagery robust with triumph and pageantry; with music of the band and prancing of the horses and regimented rows of rhythm-stepping soldiers. Most often a march celebrates a victory, graces a holiday, or highlights heroic efforts.
ANOTHER'S AGONY. Some marches truly do have the stench of death. One group's triumph is another's agony. Our family lived for a few years in
where Native Americans were marched
from their homelands in what is now called the Trail of Tears. Many died along the way. I ponder 70-year-old photos of French
spectators weeping despairingly as Nazi tanks and troops rolled into a Oklahoma pounded into
submission. History is full of
prisoner-of-war and ethnic-purging marches that served to grind oppressed
people into oblivion. Paris
BREATHTAKING JOURNEY. But Jesus' march toward
was neither morbid nor despairing.
Though one of his disciples resignedly said "Let us also go with
him that we may die with him," they misunderstood both the spirit in which
Jesus journeyed and the redemptive mission he resolved to fulfill. His trek was no denial of life; nor is
ours. The journey will be as
breathtaking as heart-rending, as life-giving as disturbing. It is important for us to grapple with the
specter of the cross in light of the hope and life and grace that loom larger
on the horizon. Jerusalem
IN CHRIST’S TRIUMPHAL PROCESSION. The Apostle Paul writes in terms of a marching procession: “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?" (2 Corinthians 2:14-16).
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