The Cross Turns our World Upside-Down

The Cross is a potent symbol and one that turns the world upside down. In the first century, the cross was an instrument of hatred, humiliation and subjugation. Yet, for us, it is a symbol of love and triumph: a symbol of God’s love for us and of Christ’s triumph over sin and death.

I am indebted to Graham Tomlin’s book Looking Through the Cross for the insight that if we look at the world through the Cross (in the same way that we might look through a kaleidoscope or through strong sunglasses) the world suddenly becomes different. Looking through the Cross changes how we see the world around us – in fact, it turns the world upside down.

A cross is an instrument of torture, of an authority so full of hate that it is willing to kill. Yet, in the hands of God, the Cross becomes an instrument of love – Christ’s love for us.

In the immediate aftermath of the Crucifixion, the disciples could not understand how their teacher, whom they understood to be in some way a partaker of the divine, could have been so humiliated, why he was willing to be subjected to such a cruel punishment. Why didn’t he save himself, they asked themselves. Yet, in Christ’s humiliation and in his subjugation there is triumph.

In the Cross, hatred becomes love; humiliation and subjugation become triumph.

We might ask ourselves, who is God? What is God like? Whilst we can never fully understand the nature of God what we do know is that God is love. For us, our fundamental calling is to become more Christ-like. We are all different and so this calling is different for everyone but what it does mean for everyone is that we are all called to love as he loved us.

The Cross turns our world upside down. God in Christ humbled himself to become the servant of all; in doing so he is exalted above all. To become more Christ-like therefore is to humble ourselves. Looked at through the Cross, we are not called to accumulate worldly riches and power; our calling is to serve others in love, that is where the riches and power of God lie.

With all good wishes,
Raymond Baudon
Pastoral Assistant
St. Matthews, Westminster, U.K.
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As a supporter of the ministry of St.Matthews Anglican Church, Westminster – situated between the Abbey and the R.C. Westminster Cathedral – I am in receipt of a monthly newsletter. This month brings a Gospel message from
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About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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