Posts Tagged ‘the cross’

The God Who Suffered

November 15, 2009

“In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of the Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world.

But each time, after a while I have had to look away. And in imagination I have turned instead to the lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in God-forsaken darkness.

That is the God for me! He laid aside His immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us. Our sufferings become more manageable in the light of His. There is still a question mark against human suffering, but over it we stamp another mark, the cross which symbolizes divine suffering.”

– John R.W. Stott, The Cross of Christ, 1986

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To Glory in My Cross

July 10, 2009

“My dear God, I have never thanked You for my thorns.  I have thanked you a thousand times for my roses but not once for my thorns.  I have always looked forward to the place where I will be rewarded for my cross, but I have never thought of my cross as a present glory itself.

Teach me, O God, to glory in my cross.  Teach me the value of my thorns.  Show me how I have climbed to You through the path of pain.  Show me it is through my tears I have seen my rainbows.”

– George Matheson (1842-1906)

The Fire

June 22, 2008

“Light is always costly and comes at the expense of that which produces it.  An unlit candle does not shine, for burning must come before the light.  And we can be of little use to others without a cost to ourselves.  Burning suggests suffering, and we try to avoid pain.

We tend to feel we are doing the greatest good in the world when we are strong and fit for active duty and when our hearts and hands are busy with kind acts of service.  Therefore when we are set aside to suffer, when we are sick, when we are consumed with pain, and when all our activities have stopped, we feel we are no longer of any use and are accomplishing nothing.

Yet if we will be patient and submissive, it is almost certain we will be a greater blessing to the world around us during our time of suffering and pain than we were when we thought we were doing our greatest work.  Then we are burning, and shining brightly as a result of the fire.

Many people want the glory without the cross, and the shining light without the burning fire, but crucifixion comes before coronation.”

-L. B. Cowman, Streams in the Desert

Good Friday

March 21, 2008

Mother in Grief“A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.'”

– Luke 23:27-29

Memorable Quotes from Off The Map Live

November 4, 2007

“People with power never think about it; people without power think about it all the time.” -Thomas Friedman, quoted by Brian McLaren

“Unwillingness to hear, listen, and connect is a serious form of sin.” -Todd Hunter

“Remember that when the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.” -Richard Twiss (Rosebud Lakota/Sioux)

“The practice of Christianity, done well, is both dangerous and magnetic.” -Diana Butler Bass

“We are the survivors of the American imperial holocaust.” -Richard Twiss

“To deny that we have privilege is an abuse of our power.” -Brian McLaren

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Resurrection

June 20, 2007

“The great Western empire of today is perfectly happy to have Christianity deconstructed into some form of neoBuddhism or whatever. Whereas, if Jesus actually rose from the dead, then Caesar in the first century and today’s Caesars should be shivering in their shoes, because this is going to make a difference in the real world.”

– Bishop N.T. Wright, The Forum at Grace Cathedral