Bearing a Cross

And we must be cautious not to abuse the idea of “bearing our cross”. The cross is too easily turned into a religious metaphor for any of our hardships. But the Bible never waters down the cross into a mere symbol that can make us feel more spiritual by wearing it around our knecks. No, the cross is the execution tool of the state that killed Jesus and the insurgents. And it is the place where Jesus faced and overcame violence with love. How ironic when someone gets a tattoo of Jesus on the cross but has no problem with religiously condoning violence. Too often a cross is placed in a house to signify respectability, symbolically saying “Hey, we’re good people.” The cross of Calvary was not a difficult family situation, not a frustration of visions of personal fullfillment, a crushing debt, or a nagging in-law; it was the political, legally-to-be-expected result of a moral clash with the powers ruling [Jesus’] society. There are plenty of biblical motifs to counsel, soothe, and care for people in their troubles, but the cross is not one of them.

Jesus For President, p 278-279, by Shane Clairborne and Chris Haw, 2008

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