Tag Archive for 'crucifixion'

Christ the King November 21, 2010

Jeremiah 23:1-6

Colossians 1:11-20

Luke 23:33-43

One of the most valuable spiritual gifts, it seems to me, is a sense of irony. Irony is defined as “a state of affairs or events that is the reverse of what was to be expected”; it’s when someone says one thing but then does something that contradicts their words. You won’t find irony among the classic lists of virtues. It’s kind of an outlier, a bastard virtue, if you will. Having a sense of irony protects us from taking others – or ourselves – too seriously. It punctures our tendency to create idols. It brings us back to earth, where we belong. And yet, even as it does so, it can raise up for us new and more genuine hope.

Our celebration of Christ the King on this last Sunday of the Church Year is a perfect example of irony. Continue reading ‘Christ the King November 21, 2010’

Palm Sunday April 5, 2009

John 12:12-16  (Palm gospel)                                                                   

Mark 14:1-15:47  (Passion gospel)                                                              


[At this service, the Holy Cross Youth Group acted out the gospel in dramatic form.]


The Catholic Archbishop of Chicago issued a decree. (That’s the sort of thing Catholic Archbishops can do. In the Episcopal Church, bishops have to resort to whining.) The decree said that Palm Sunday Passion dramas could not be done in historic costumes. The reason, Cardinal Bernardin said, is that these things didn’t just happen back then. They’re happening now. Though this year we’ve done the Passion drama with some suggestions of costume—if you have kids doing the drama, you have to have a sword!—what we’ve just witnessed (and participated in) is indeed a drama about our life, not just things back then in Jerusalem 2000 years ago.


What is this drama? A French historian and philosopher named René Girard has some very helpful insights. The crucifixion of Jesus, he says, is the supreme instance of scapegoating. And scapegoating is an ongoing drama—even the ongoing drama of human life. Continue reading ‘Palm Sunday April 5, 2009’

Lent 5 March 29, 2009

Jeremiah 31:31-34                                                             

Hebrews 5:5-10                                                                  

John 12:20-33


Each of us here this morning has something we must give up, surrender, sacrifice, in order that we might truly live. It’s something very precious to you, something you’ve held onto fiercely in your deepest soul, for years, maybe all your life. And you don’t want to let go of it. But you must, if you are to be truly free and whole and alive in Jesus Christ. Continue reading ‘Lent 5 March 29, 2009’