Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The cross is Christ's place of glory

This helped me sort something out. 

The Small Catechism bids us to begin each day and to end each day with the sign of the holy cross.  Thus each day is set to be lived in our Baptism, which incorporated us with the death and resurrection of Jesus.  At Baptism the cross, the abbreviated name of God, was done on us.  Where His name is, there is the Lord.  Where His doxa is, there is the Lord.  His doxa, His chavod, locates Him. 

The Lord is, of course, everywhere.  But is He there for you?  Is He anywhere for you?  Today's Gospel says yes.  Jesus says there is a place where I am there for you.  The cross is the doxa point, and it has time/location--"under Pontius Pilate,"  we say.  Jesus said, "The hour is come, that the son of man should be glorified.... but for this cause came I unto this hour"  (John 12:23-27).  This is an enthronement word, and His throne is the cross.  That is the doxa point.  "Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God and there is no other."  There is God.  There for you, and not only for you but also for everyone.  Or, better still, for everyone and also for you.  No "just me and Jesus."  Yet "for all men" can fly past us, as can the "for you"--the delivery--done by the means of grace.

As Doctor Luther says, "the Gospel is not Christ."  The Gospel is the proclamation of Christ.  The proclamation of Christ is the proclamation of the cross, the proclamation of the cross for you.  Thus the delivery of the cross and with it all that was there achieved for you that day long ago.  We are not back there.  Nor need we attempt to get back there with some sort of getting contemporary with it.

Our Lord is not back there today, but here, where He is having His words spoken, the words that deliver Him.  Doctor Luther said if you want your sins forgiven, don't go to Calvary.  There forgiveness was won for you, but there it is not given out.  You go to the Lord's Supper.  There forgiveness is not won for you, but there it is given out.  The Lord's Supper has always a specific place and time.  For there to be a delivery to us, it cannot be otherwise.  We go on only as we are located at a particular place and time.  The Lord has appointed the place and time for the delivery of His gifts, means of grace, externum verbum.  And so gifts, that is, from Him to you by way of located words, water, wine, and bread.

For me but also I thought Larry would like it (who I don't think reads this blog.)  From Selected Sermons of Norman Nagel, p. 291.  Also for my friend John M.

Now we just need to know what doxa means, exactly.

OK, doxa means "glory.  The cross is Christ's glory. The Gospel is the proclamation of Christ's cross/glory.  The proclamation/delivery is located here and now--in the means of grace--words, water, wine and bread.

1 comment:

Garry Trammell said...

Love this. Thank you.