THE FOOLISHNESS OF THE CROSS


“Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Cor 1: 20-24)

Jesus Christ, perfect Man and perfect God, was crucified in an imperfect world, at a specific time in our imperfect history, “under Pontius Pilate.” This story of the Cross, which played out (and continues to be played out) in an imperfect, human setting, is a “stumblingblock” and “foolishness” to many. From those perspectives it is a story of utter failure. And yet the life-giving Cross continues to be God’s chosen path, the only path, to Resurrection. It is the path He chose for me, and it is followed in a context of imperfection, - my own imperfection, the imperfection of my community, and of my world. There is no cross in a perfect world, nor is it co-carried by perfect people.

Today as I contemplate the mystery of the Cross, as we celebrate the feast of the Elevation of the Cross according to the Old(er) Calendar, I contemplate the Cross of History – that imperfect context into which Christ willingly enters and in which He is crucified. It is in this context that we, as Church, do not even celebrate great feasts like this one, or like Christmas, together, because we bear, with Him and in Him, the Cross of History; the history of our weaknesses and divisions. This can indeed be seen as “foolishness” and a “stumbling block” to many. And yet we journey forward, in our weaknesses and imperfections, toward the light of the Resurrection.

Let me gratefully continue my imperfect, cross-carrying journey today, in “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God,” Who chose to make this journey as we do, in an imperfect world.

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