Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Of Chocolate Crosses
My friend Nancy Armstrong, knowing my affinity for really tacky religious stuff (my collection contains "Wash Away Your Sins" soap, "Seeds of Samson" seeds and nut bar -- Kosher and "inspired by Scripture," and other, even tackier things) bought me something seasonal the other day -- a chocolate cross. To me this was beyond tacky -- almost sacrilegious. I mean, I'm a guy who grew up singing songs like "The Old Rugged Cross."
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
The scandal of the cross still has a strong hold on me and I don't really see any room in it for chocolate crosses. To hand out chocolate eggs on Easter gives me no pause. That's about the Easter Bunny, who is eventually exposed to be Mom or Dad or Grandma or Grandpa. But the story of the Cross of Calvary is more than some Springtime myth and the thought of handing it to a kid and saying "Take, and eat" seems both a sorry parody of holy communion and a mockery of the sacrifice we remember this season.
So I accepted the chocolate cross in the spirit of smart-assness in which it was given -- and then gave it to someone else, who I'm certain threw it away. It was too much even for my twisted humour, because --
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?