So this tweet from Jim Naughton (and my response) went out on Good Friday:
@JimNaught it's like, all those dark times you say "I wish I could die," Christ takes all that shit and says "I'll do it because I love you"— Tom Lutes (@lutes_thomasp) April 18, 2014
I liked my answer, in contrast to some of the others (even though I was struggling with the 140 character limit... which includes the response tag, mind you). Some of the other responses, I thought, were a little too high-brow:
@JimNaught By his combination of humility & truth, he reversed the vengeful cycle of blow & counterblow that controls human relations
— David Kendrick (@frdavidken) April 18, 2014
And some of them left a little to be wanted:
@JimNaught To show us what unconditional love is; because sometimes we have to learn the hard way; so we know God understands human trials.
— Meredith Rawls (@merrdiff) April 18, 2014
And I think that is one of the dangers of this question: it gives people the opportunity to get into their own heads, reflect and say something that may or may not connect with what the person in the produce aisle knows or cares about. I think asking the question the way that Naughton did allows people to say something academic or "spiritual," but that lacks any guts or grit. And in regard to my question about living in the light of Christ, these responses let us talk about things... but really don't lend any reflection on how to live.
So going back to this person, still waiting in front of you in the grocery store, whose mind has now gone on to whether they want iceberg lettuce or Romaine... I think you've just got to level with them and be real. Give them an answer that doesn't take an Master's degree of Divinity from Yale to understand. Because that would probably lead to a sermon being preached that links Christ's sacrifice to butternut squash. That's why I kinda liked this one:
@JimNaught ooh, that's a good one. Don't have a produce aisle response. Can we sit down and have coffee? Because I can't do that one fast.
— Nurya Love Parish (@nurya) April 18, 2014
But when all is said and done, we're still talking and we're not living. I don't think that just talking about Jesus and thinking about what he did really cuts the cheese (sorry, that's dairy, not produce). So maybe I need to take my answer and the blank look on this person's face and just say, "Here, let me show you what I mean."
I could take this person to the St. Christopher's Thursday night community supper or the Loaves & Fishes service that we sponsor with Holy Trinity.
I could bring this person to First Nations Kitchen to show them the connections and service happening there.
I could take this person to the upcoming Beer and Hymns that I'm planning with my friends.
I could show this person my brother's plan to go to South Africa to service with the Anglican Church of South Africa.
I could show them the Association of Episcopal Deacon's ordination in a laundromat.
I could tell them about any of the ministries happening at the House for All Sinners and Saints.
I could describe the radical community that's been established by Shane Claiborne and others
And I'm sure that if I just wander around long enough with this person, we could share observations and experiences of ways that we've both seen people living and working in the light of Christ who died on a cross and rose from the grave three days later.
So why did Jesus have to die on the cross? I'm really not sure... but I think it has to do with sharing what it means to be human... and it has to do with resurrection... and from there, I think it's up to interpretation.
What do you think? Why Christ's death on the cross?