Wednesday, May 11, 2011

2011.05.11 How Good Godly Was Good Friday?

Haven Kimmel in her memoir, A Girl Named Zippy. Growing Up Small in Moorleland, Indiana, writes with the illuminating candor of a young girl child with an independence of spirit and a love of life that challenge and humbles the overly intellectual or anxious about naked human feelings.

Here’s what she as a child of about 8-10 has to say about Jesus:

“I wanted him to be my boyfriend. My feelings about Jesus didn’t alarm me at all, because it appeared that everyone around me was flat-out in love with him, and who wouldn’t be? He was good with animals, he loved his mother, and he wasn’t afraid of blind people. I didn’t buy the bit about his terrible death and resurrection for a minute. I knew, beyond any room for doubt, that nothing in the world is both alive and dead. And this was the thing I most wanted to say in church: if you want him to be alive, you’ve got to stop hanging him on that cross.”

Is it a word of wisdom to Christians who obsess with the cross? Is it too much Protestantism as some would say? Or is it just a kid wondering?

Myself, I think the Episcopal Church strikes the right balance between life and death in its liturgies, provided of course we get rid of the atonement idea that someone up there sent someone down here to die in order to assure us we are embraced in God’s love.

Where there is real love there is always some sacrifice for its sake, is always sacrifice, and that truth inspires. But to set it up as a demand, requirement, or guarantee of divine grace forever?

For me? No thanks. Not for my boyfriend Jesus.