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?


Anonymous said...

Brent, I've recently added to my compost-pile idea notebook a clipping from an unnamed catalog which offers "cross-shaped swirl pops", clearly not as classy as your chocolate crosses. And, to quote the other entry, "Lamb of God Gummy Candy: Each fruit-flavored candy lamb wears a sweet little cross. Individually wrapped.…Fat free." Little puffy white lambs with pink faces and a lavender cross at the shoulder.

"So I cherish the sweet little cross…" ?? Thanks for your objection and witness.


Brent Bill said...

I guess I'm too old and grumpy!! Maybe need to put the red nose on. It's just that all this Lamb of God Gummy Candy and chocolate cross stuff is too hard on this old diabetic. Ha.

When I see or hear of stuff like this, I think of something that my Presbyterian boss says -- Jesus, hanging on the cross, in agony, on Good Friday, seeing this silliness and saying, "Yep, that's just what I had in mind when I got nailed up here."