In my home there’s a nook. In the nook is a desk, next to the desk is a shelf, and on the shelf is a book – the highly recommended The God of the Towel by Jim McGuiggan. As I sit at the desk, contemplating my life of ministry, my work at Montwood, and tomorrow’s Bible class – and the tremendous impact that I want to have in all of them – the following words leap off the page at me: Read the rest of this entry »
It is difficult for us, after so many Christian centuries during which the cross has been venerated as a sacred symbol, to realize the unspeakable horror and disgust that the mention or indeed the very thought of the cross provoked. By the Jewish law anyone who was crucified died under the curse of God (Gal 3:13, quoting Deut 21:23). In polite Roman society the word “cross” was an obscenity, not to be uttered in conversation. Even when a man was being sentenced to death by crucifixion, an archaic formula was used that avoided the pronouncing of this four-letter word – as it was in Latin (crux). This utterly vile form of punishment was that which Jesus endured, and by enduring it he turned that shameful instrument of torture into the object of his followers’ proudest boast. “May I never boast,” said Paul (by contrast with other people’s grounds of boasting), “except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal 6:14)…
FF Bruce, Philippians
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
CS Lewis, The Four Loves