Wednesday, July 16, 2014

As The World Turns

What makes the world go 'round?

Creationists and evolutionists both believe the world spins on a perfect axis at just the right speed, although they disagree as to what or who propels it.

But, what truly makes the world spin 'round? Not in a literal sense, but what makes sense out of the world? What gives purpose? Meaning? Direction? How do we make sense of history? The future? Life? Death?

What does it all mean? And, what makes living with the lack of answers to these questions bearable? What do we do with the tensions of this life?

Theologian and author Robert Capon said;

"The supreme act by which God makes history turn out right - the still, reconciling point of the whole turning world - is the very nightmare of the cross itself."

The world turns by the nightmare of the cross.

Before God descended in all humanity and divinity, the world was spinning. Even before the rescue mission took on flesh, gravitational forces were at work in unfathomable preciseness. And yet, it was spinning out of control. Sin had entered the perfection of creation. Never again would the garden be perfectly tilled and precisely cared for. Darkness seeped in. Trouble met the horizon. 

But God...

...descended into the darkness...into the chaos...once again bringing order. The first time He by speaking the world into creation.. This time by bleeding for the world and it's redemption.

Marc Chagall - Jesus on the cross of Calvary
However, it's not what we expected it to look like. It wasn't with great power and an ornate crown. It came by way of great suffering and thorns. It was not a dreamy, ethereal "God thing", it was a nightmarish, gritty "suffering thing."

Now, what seemed hopeless is the nightmare of the cross...

Now, light shines in the the nightmare of the cross...

Now, the old is made the nightmare of the cross...

Now, the dead are made the nightmare of the cross...

What happens then to all the questions, to the meaning of life and the tensions of this world? Have they disappeared?


We do, however, have a lens with which we view them. The lens of Love.

God so loved the world that He sent His only son to die, that we might live. My questions pale. My heart is calmed. My anxiousness is stilled. My hand-wringing about tomorrow can stop.

Only the nightmare of the cross brings hopefulness to our sad hearts. We see the power of Love. Jesus suffered and bled and we begin to realize that He understands our pain and our weakness as a result. He's been where you are. He's felt the same things I have. He knows our frailty.

Only the nightmare of the cross brings light into the dark. Hanging on the cross and bowing his head, Jesus died. The earth shook, the veil was torn and a light shown in the dark - even to a darkened heart. "When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

Only the nightmare of the cross brings newness. As Jesus looked down from the cross where his mother was standing, He created. He gave his mother to his beloved disciple and he gave his disciple a mother. Imagine, a brand new relationship for the rest of their lives. They would be loved and cared for as a result of this nightmare.

And, only the nightmare of the cross brings life out of death. Hanging, bleeding and suffering, Jesus looked at one who was condemned to die and said "Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

As Robert Capon put it, God makes history turn out right...

...not by chance but by the cross.

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