The Cross and Other People

Take up your Cross and follow me

Simon Cyrene was coming into town from outside. He was an outsider who was compelled to carry Jesus’ Cross when it was too heavy.

The Cross brings things together and distinguishes them. As the embrace of vertical and horizontal carried by a stranger for the stranger saviour, the Cross brings the finite and the infinite close, God at once rising over us and appearing in our midst. God is at once great, powerful, sovereign over Creation and, in our midst, servant, stranger, helpless child,  condemned criminal.

This understanding of the cross has begun to change my faith as I take to heart the implication that God works both in the ‘meta-narratives’ of great acts, the arcs of our lives– for instance the ways our employment experience can build, not always straightforwardly, on itself, perhaps as a serpent undulating–and in the small, scattered moments of insight, creativity, kindness, generosity, humour, the surprises that take us out of ourselves, the love that moves us beyond our own cares and ambitions, the compassion and hope that take us beyond our egos to imagine other people’s lives, other ways things can be.


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