Skip to main content

at the very least, hope

paper collage on cardboard panel
gregory a. milinovich

On this Good Friday, and for my 100th post, i share with you this reflection on the cross by frederick buechner from his book "Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC:"

Two of the noblest pillars of the ancient world--Roman law and Jewish piety--together supported the necessity of putting Jesus Christ to death in a manner that even for his day was peculiarly loathsome. Thus the cross stands for the tragic folly of human beings, not just at their worst but at their best.

Jesus needn't have died. Presumably, he could have followed the advice of friends like Peter and avoided the showdown. Instead he chose to die because he believed that he had to if the world was to be saved. Thus the cross stands for the best that human beings can do as well as for the worst.

"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Jesus died in the profoundest sense alone. Thus the cross stands for the inevitable dereliction and defeat of the best and the worst indiscriminately.

For those who believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead early on a Sunday morning, and for those also who believe that he provided food for the worms just as the rest of us will, the conclusion is inescapable that he came out somehow the winner. What emerged from his death was a kind of way, of truth, of life, without which the last two thousand years of human history would be even more tragic than they are.

A six-pointed star, a crescent moon, a lotus--the symbols of other religions suggest beauty and light. The symbol of Christianity is an instrument of death. It suggests, at the very least, hope.

Frederick Buechner, "Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC" Harper San Francisco, 1993, pg. 20.


edrew85 said…
Greg! Eric here, I found your blog! I wanted to say hello and see how everything was going. I really enjoyed your posts reflecting on Good Friday and the rolling of the rock from the tomb. I wanted to let you know I ended up calling BU and accepting enrollment there (which I'm very excited about), and now you can find my blog: I hope you are well, have a wonderful Easter, and I will hopefully catch you soon.
this is a test
cathyq said…
this is test 2
cathyq said…
test 3
cathyq said…
test again
cathyq said…
user name test
greg. said…
hi eric! congrats, man. i'm really happy for you. i think that BU is a great choice and it sounds like a program that will really be an asset in your journey. i'll check out your blog soon (this is kind of a busy week for me!). peace,

greg. said…
hey mom and dad. hopefully the tests are helping?.....
RedBank Billy said…
you mean there is going to be a test???
Anonymous said…
beautific collage mr. greg >> glen

Popular posts from this blog


i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

thankful right now

"if the only prayer you ever say in your life is 'thank you,' it will be enough." -Meister Eckhart

"thanksgiving is inseparable from prayer." -John Wesley

i've been thinking about gratitude quite a bit this week, and how to foster a thankful spirit in the midst of the barrage of bad news that for me is punctuated by yet another "breaking news" notification on my phone, interrupting the busyness of my day to rudely remind me that the world's brokenness knows nothing of limits or boundaries, not to mention my schedule or sanity.  still, the bad news keeps coming. 

i just scrolled through my most recent notifications just from the last few days and they contain phrases like "crimes against humanity," "57 million users hacked, but not reported," "alleged pattern of sexual abuse," and "extremely disturbing," just to name a few.  how am i supposed to be present at a staff meeting when my phone is buzzing …