sacred space

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Wise words from Sacred Space this week:

When we call Christ the King, we have to unthink the trappings of royalty, and picture him as Pilate saw him when he asked: Are you a king? He was rejected, in pain, deserted by his followers. He had known fear; he had sweated blood and called on God three times, using the self-same words: Let this chalice pass from me. Yet Pilate was in awe. Jesus was unafraid now, ready to drain the bitter chalice, but himself untouched by bitterness. Here was a man who could command the loyalty not so much of the successful and popular, as of the great mass of humankind who also pray daily that God spare them the bitter chalice. If he is a king, it is not as the overclothed icon of Byzantine art, but as the naked, crucified one.

Wise words for us to follow not just admire, we who have formed our churches to court the loyalty of the succesful and popular, thinking that if we command their influence we will reach out into the world. Yet Christ became less. He courted those who had nothing else, raising up those who were not considered worthy, teaching those who were left behind by society. He did not look to the world’s opinion for himself or to measure others.

And it was this approach which healed the lepers, freed those captured, and brought back to life those who were dead.

It is a worthwhile consideration to determine how we assert ourselves in this world, whose influence we seek and whose we dismiss. And when we do this, we should measure ourselves against Christ, and adjust our lives accordingly. Though, doing such may be painful and difficult.

“This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” (John 6:60ff.)

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