Preached at Unity Lutheran Church in Berwyn, Illinois, April 14, 2017.
You will hear the question from time to time, often from a friend, coworker, or classmate, or maybe even from that voice in the back of your own head… The questioning goes like this: “why the cross? It’s so morbid. Why wear that gruesome thing around your neck or put it up in a church? Isn’t that just a holdover from a less enlightened, more barbaric time?”
And there are often no satisfactory answers to these questions. Any attempt to explain the cross often raises many more, in fact. It is deeply paradoxical and resists any attempts to resolve its tensions. Perhaps you feel that tension even today, right now. In darkness, with the altar stripped, we gather in a familiar place that looks unfamiliar. We gather in an extension of the contemplative silence of last night, yet still feeling no resolution. The readings we have heard are intense, even disturbing. Where is the good news in any of this? Continue reading