Crown of Thorns: Beyond Sentimentality

crown-of-thorns.jpg I recently came across this fractal image inspired by Jesus’ crown of thorns and found it somewhat mandala like in the way it draws the eye down into the depths. I always find the crucifixion of Jesus an excellent focus for meditation but you know, I think Christians have often been guilty of romanticizing his pain.

In the signature of Jesus, Brennan Manning commented:

Christian piety has trivialized the passionate God of Golgotha. Christian art has turned the unspeakable outrage of Calvary into dignified jewelry. Christian worship has sentimentalized monstrous scandal into sacred pageant. Organized religion has domesticated the crucified Lord of glory; turned him into a tame symbol. Viewed as a church relic, the cross does not disturb our comfortable religiosity. But when the crucified, risen Christ, instead of remaining an icon, comes to life and delivers us over to the fire he came to light, he creates more havoc than all the heretics, secular humanists, and self-serving preachers put together.

In meditating on the crucifixion of Jesus therefore, I seek to penetrate the romantic acretations of Christian piety and apprehend anew the disturbing nature of this event and its significance for those who would follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

Are we ready to be unsettled? Dare we risk it? Dare we not?

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