Friday, October 15, 2010

"He did not know how to carry it, yet he carried it..."

"In following him, why is the outward sign and inner mind to be a cross? Why not a lunch box?...How about...[a] ...'caloried-salaried, international, technological, carefully-packed lunch-box' for the sake of Jesus Christ? It is an attractively shaped box with a neat handle for carrying. It is not heavy. How psychologically and physcially strengthening to carry such a lovely and substantial lunch-box...we can whistle and light-footedly follow Jesus 'from victory unto victory.' The lunch-box symbolizes our resourcefulness, spiritual and mental energy, high-powered substantial theology, good honest thinking, careful (international and technological) planning and sacred commitment to our faith. Why not, then, '...let him prepare himself and take up his lunch-box and follow me.../? We can be and will remain energetic and resourceful. If necessary, we can even walk ahead of Jesus instead of 'follow him.'

The contrast is between the cross and the lunch-box; an extremely inconvenient thing to carry ('without a handle') and an extremely convenient thing to carry ('with a handle'); an ugly thing to carry and an attractive thing to carry; slow movement and fast movement; inefficiency and efficiency; insecurity and security; heavy-footedness and light-footedness; pain and glory; self-denial and self-asssertion.

...Theology that puts a handle to the power of God is no longer a theology but a demonic theological ideology. Theology must refuse to 'handle' the saving power of God. It tries to speak about it. It tries to sing 'Magnificat' about it. It meditates about it. But it does not 'handle' it as we handle our car and washing machine. Theology, then, must not 'handle' people either.

The technological mind is, in short, 'handle-minded,'while the theological mind is 'non-handle-minded.'...

...In the Bible, the cross does not have a 'handle.' Let me emphasize that for me the image of Jesus carrying over his shoulders the intolerable weight of the bulky cross--he did not know how to carry it, yet he carried it 'without a handle'--is the primary image for the understanding and explication of the Christian truth..."

Kosuke Koyama, No Handle on the Cross


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