About Me

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I now live in Victoria, after a couple years on the North Shore of Vancouver, and a (too) brief time in the prairies. Working as an artist, mother and wife (not necessarily in that order), i am striving to live well, to find the truth of God in all things, and to pass on this truth to others.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

the cross

so, i've been pondering the cross lately.
actually, i've been pondering the exodus in Jewish culture, and the cross in Christian culture. 

i'm not Jewish.  but from what i can tell, the entire identity of a Jew, the starting point and culmination of cultural and religious identity, is the exodus.  this moment in history where God showed up, saved, revealed himself to an entire race of individuals, claimed a people group, and honoured them through acts of incredible judgement and provision.  my world religions professor in university said that it was this revelation that led her to become a Christian - the only world religion where a God appears to an entire nation at one time, not an individual in seclusion. 

so, at this time of year, the Passover, every Jewish believer is remembering.  they are eating a sacred meal, saying holy words, celebrating and looking ahead in faith.  they have this claim, this flag waving in the annuls of time that says "this is where God saved us".  it is the beginning of their year.  time starts at the exodus.  on this Passover night, thousands of years ago, death ravaged every home around the people of Israel, but passed them over.  they were literally pushed out of the land of their slavery, laden down with gold and jewels by those who had enslaved them. 

what a scene plays in my mind!  screaming mothers shoving silverware in my hands, my ears filled with the countless wailings of wives and mothers and sisters and brothers who have just found a loved one dead in their home.  all of the first born of an entire country. dead.  their faces fallen in the meals they were eating.  i smell the blood that has been smeared on my doorpost, the rest of the meal on the table.  my kids are crying and my husband is packing up the cart, throwing everything we own in as fast as he can.  in the distance there is fire, fire!  a huge pilar that seems to carve the sky in two.  people around me are whispering, it's Yahweh.  our God.  and He wants us to follow Him out.  out of Egypt. 

no more bricks.  no more starving.  no more hunger in my children's eyes at night.  no more whips on my husband's back.  no more hiding and grovelling and lying in bed afraid. 


as a Christian i have my own exodus story.  my own moments of God showing up, revealing himself to me, and leading me out of my land of slavery.  oh, there was no pillar of fire, no plagues or parting seas.  but there was a journey.  a step by step walk, sometimes in areas that felt very much like a wilderness.  i won't say that i've arrived in the promised land, but i am definitely not in Egypt anymore.

what am i free from?  well, paralyzing fear.  destructive guilt.  frantic anxiety.  degrading sins. 
sometimes i feel free from my self, which is a deeply peaceful, full-breath-relaxed-limb trust - which can only be the creator of the universe actually showing up for me.  a miracle. 

for me, this Easter day, the cross is my exodus flag.  my marking stone.  my exclamation point.  my reminder that i was bought from slavery by a Jewish man a couple thousand years ago.  a man who was also God - who was at the first exodus, and knew the entire world needed another.  i take this moment to look back at the land of my slavery, and remember that i am no longer there.  i look around my life for the signs of God's leading.  i turn my face toward His will. 

i take another step.

For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kindgom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.  Colossians 1:13-14.

1 comment:

  1. This week I was praying that God would constantly put the cross in front of me. I would bump into, have to move around it to see. I prayed this so that I would be reminded of what God did for me and for all of us on the cross. And God did not let me down. This week I could honestly say that I could feel how much He loved me and what an incredible sacrifice He made for me. I don't know that I could put my child on a cross and watch him be brutally crucified. And I wonder, if I had been there at the time when Jesus was on the cross, would I have been one of the people in the crowd yelling out, "crucify him, crucify him"? It is so easy to follow the crowd rather than follow Jesus.
    My friend did come to church with me! This is the first time I have ever done this, invited a non-believer to join me. There were two baptisms during the service (which made me think of you and the day you baptized me) and the women shared a little of their story. We also prayed the prayer to accept Jesus into your heart so I hope she was led to pray this. I didn't want to be pushy and question her lots. I nothing else, she could see that this is my family. So many embraces and hugs from so many people!
    I have been reading a book called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero. I am only a couple of chapters in, but it is SO good. Basically, it's impossible to be spirituality mature while remaining emotionally immature.
    I am sharing my story (or time-line as they refer to it) this Wednesday at my home group. God continues to give me opportunities to be vulnerable and honest with people and see that they still love me in my weakness!
    I love you!!!!
    Love Cori