Thursday, April 9, 2009



This is the season of the profoundest message of Christianity. Sometimes the concepts of being “born again” or accepting Christ as “personal savior” come across as a tiptoe through the tulips kind of experience from which one emerges with a perpetually beatific grin.

The entry into Christian life is baptism, which ultimately is a figure of death. One is immersed beneath water to symbolize the burial of the body, then raised again to symbolize the resurrection. None of this hurts, because someone just setting foot on the path toward God cannot be expected to be ready for the pain yet to come. But the symbol is there as plain as can be, a warning of what to expect.

The triumph of Christ is not in all the amazing things he did during his life, the miracles, healings, teachings, and other wonders, but rather that he died and resurrected. And in so doing, indicated what his followers would experience.

To be mocked and shamed undeservedly, and to have one’s existence cruelly extinguished – this is hard stuff. It is convenient to characterize it as something Christ did so we won't have to - but this is neither the testimony of Scripture nor of those who have followed that narrow path.

Of course everyone “knows” they are going to die, and hopes the process will be easy and painless, surrounded by loving and sorrowful folks who light the soul’s way to heaven with their prayers. But this wish is just an extension of our determined effort to enjoy life on earth and be comfortable in the process.

Death and Resurrection are the universal destiny of souls, regardless of the ideology or theology they espouse. If we do not die to who we are, we can never be disciples of truth, in whatever form this quest is expressed. And dying to self is the most arduous and painful experience possible, as one feels abandoned by God Himself. Jesus cried out from the Cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

The crucifixion occurred at a place called Calvary or Golgotha, which means the skull, or head, another symbol of the conceptual person.

“And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha” (John 19:17).

How this death of self will manifest in anyone’s particular life is a mystery, and perhaps an ongoing process that occurs in stages.

But it will happen.

It is the only possible path into life.


  1. I like that picture. Some say if we look at icons and well-made spiritual art it will activate us into remembering.

  2. OH MY GOSH Shannon, that blows my mind!
    When I was in my early 20's I used to collect and also decoupage Orthodox Icons, had a whole wall full, and I would sit and look into their eyes...and it did feel like a portal,wow how cool is that? How sad, that I gave them all away and forgot... what a beautiful rememberance, you amaze :)

    CD, Dying to ourselves is rib crushingly painful huh? And when we are dying to our false selves it remembers me to how Christ suffered and he 'took on the sins of the world' and how it feels when we go deeply into our hearts, it is like an anguish for the whole world and it's darkness and suffering, it feels endless...there is a song I love and one of the lines says; "If we die to ourselves and live through your death, we will be born again to blessed in your love" If we do not actually live through his death with deepest feeling, I feel it is inauthentic...and too, there is the AND as we are born again closer in our authentic childhood selves to tip toe through the tulips. I greatly appreciate all you share. I get convicted oftentimes in my 'being' about being just a believer and I grow so much from visiting here. Thank you! Chrysanthe

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  4. I feel truly he was a radical and appreciate the "Embrace the radical hoar and reject the fearful Pharisee" Do not be as the hypocrites!
    He was radical for all living creatures and his righteous anger was clearly seen in the temple, with the money changers and those who 'sold doves'. Yet, there was no place he did not go, and walked among the masses.

    I remeber this, "Who touched me?" Jesus asked. Everyone denied it, and Peter said, "Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you."
    But Jesus said, "Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me." When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed.
    "Daughter," he said to her, "your faith has made you well. Go in peace."
    There are people everywhere on the planet who's heart will open if only even a little, when we walk in Presence as healing peacemakers, anywhere and everywhere on the planet. He never avoided the Pharisees or Sadducees and walked among those who were asleep under their spell, including the Priests. Radical and healing....
    "Be wise as serpents; gentle as doves." No?

  5. Chrysanthe, how amazing, you all ready new.