The Cellar

We find ourselves in the midst of Holy Week; a time in which Christians all around the world are reflecting on the events leading up to Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection.  Throughout Lent, I’ve been reading Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter, and while it may be a bit late for this year, I heartily recommend that you consider it for your next go around at Lent.

The readings have been what I expected.  Thoughtful, varied, rich, and nurturing.  In an attempt to help prepare our hearts for Easter, I thought I would share some recent comments pertaining particularly to the Passion.  Morton T. Kelsey writes:

“Each of us has underneath our ordinary personality, which we show to the public, a cellar in which we hide the refuse and rubbish which we would rather not see ourselves or let others see.  And below that is a deeper hold in which there are dragons and demons, a truly hellish place, full of violence and hatred and viciousness.  Sometimes these lower levels break out, and it is to this lowest level of humans that public executions appeal.

In the cross this level of our being has thrust itself up out of its deepest underground cellar so that we humans may see what is in all of us and take heed.  The cross is crucial because it shows what possibilities for evil lie hidden in human beings.  It is the connection of human evil in one time and place.  Whenever we look upon the cross, which was simply a more fiendish kind of gibbet, we see what humankind can do, has done, and still does to some human beings.  It can make us face the worst in ourselves and in others, that part of us which can sanction a cross or go watch a crucifixion.  The cross is the symbol, alive and vivid, of the evil that is in us, of evil itself.”

There’s more, of course, but you get the idea.  I don’t know how Lent has been for you, but certainly for me it has been an opportunity to shed a little light into my own cellar.  And as you might expect, what I find down there is not pretty.

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