Monday, August 14, 2017

Hiding Jesus

Peggy does a beautiful job. She decorates the tables in our church foyer and the communion table. There is order and reason in what she does. Each season has a color and many times a special Sunday on the church calendar has its own color for decoration. The foyer tables change with the seasons and the holidays. You can count on them always being in great taste and pretty.

But Peggy wasn't here for the last communion. The tables were set and all went well-except for Jesus. We have a crucifix that one of our artists made. It is of the church tradition of several denominations that uses a crucifix depicting Jesus on the cross. Some denominations don't use the crucifix. They are more used to not seeing Jesus on the cross since His work there is finished. A few folks don't like them as they say it is a graven image. Really? I once was told this early in my ministry by an 80 yr. old Sunday school teacher. She said that as she was handing out children's bibles with a full color picture of Jesus on the cover with kids at his feet and sitting on His lap. I pointed out to the teacher that the picture on the Bible could be a graven image. She didn't like me after that.

Our crucifix is carved, Jesus is looking down and to His right. The Jesus carving sits on the communion table once a month for the Lord's supper. Peggy puts him up after the Lord's supper, but Peggy wasn't here that Sunday. I saw him on Monday sitting on the end of the communion table. "I guess I should put him up in the closet where these things go." I approached the table and suddenly became apprehensive. "How do I pick him up?" I asked myself. Do I do it reverently or regularly? But I don't regularly pick up a carving of Jesus on the cross. How do I carry him? Cradled? Hand under the cross or under the base? or both? Since this Jesus is kinda heavy and I'm kinda weak, I went with base and cross.

I took him to the closet where all Peggy's pretty stuff is stored. Now where does he go? Does he have a place up high? In the center? I looked for a Jesus on a crucifix sized spaced and gently placed him there. I hope it is the right place but at least Peggy can find him next month. I felt apprehensive again as I turned to close the door. It just felt odd closing the door on Jesus. Maybe I should leave the light on for him.

No, we need to hide him, to just leave him in the dark, in the closet, looking down and to his right. If we let him out of the closet and into the light of day, what he saw in this hate filled, bigoted, warring, sex-crazed, materialistic world would just break his heart and kill him. already did.

I guess the only place that hides Jesus now is the church.


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