They thought it was a scarecrow, strung up to a Wyoming barbed-wire fence - but it was Mathew Shephard, pistol whipped and crucified at 22 years of age. Matthew’s mother forgave the crucifers. Pastor Phelps reminded us again of the hatred of religious people who hide behind bibles and crucifixes. Very pious, well meaning, God-fearing religious people killed Jesus.
The young prisoner of Abu Ghraib, stripped and outstretched arms give Islam and Christianity a new and deeper understanding of crucifixion. Christians don’t own this image. It is universal and speaks to all humanity. There are always soldiers at the foot of a cross and peddlers of exclusivity.
Phoebe Prince was crucified by words and contempt before she breathed her last gasp. It took an Irish immigrant to wake us up to the violence in our schools against “the outsider invisible ones” who die at each taunt, while adults turn the other cheek. Pilate washes his hands.
A friend is pierced with nails of morphine and life support systems, cruciform in the bed of intensive care, breathing her last. Family and the Beloved look on powerless in the Watch.
The father of a Marine killed in Iraq and whose funeral was picketed by anti-gay protesters was ordered to pay the protesters’ appeal costs, his lawyers said Monday. A dead marine’s father is forced to pay 30 pieces of silver to that Judas Phelps whom Jesus saved. Grace is more powerful than law.
I can no longer see God in a wooden figure on a cross.
These embodied ones are my Good Fridays.
Rev. Canon Albert Ogle