Old saints, I must emphasize, are not the same thing as heroes. Saints are not perfect. But that's not what being a saint is about.
Thinking as “we” means that we aspire to be less like a committee of separate persons and more like a living, breathing, organic unity. The life of the community as a whole becomes our aim. We break out of isolating self-consciousness.
Christianity does not solve the problem of unjust suffering. But Christianity does remain uniquely committed to the problem of suffering as a mystery of our life and existence, demanding our faith and our hope.
The crucifixion is the coronation. The soldiers mock Jesus by dressing him in a purple robe (imperial colors) and a crown of thorns. They put a reed into his hand, like a scepter, and bow before him, and kneel, crying “Hail, King of the Jews.” It is a mock coronation.
Christianity is a wholehearted attempt to give expression to the wonder at the bottom of everything, both things known and unknown. There is room enough for a world full of wonder in a humble, personal, existential commitment to the creed.
Sin, then, is simply the choice to serve the sorts of things that are destructive rather than life-giving. We may serve these things by freely, deliberately prioritizing them, but equally we may just unwittingly fall into the habit of doing what's against even our own better judgement.
Christianity is not trapped in the past. To many apparently sane modern people, the ancient faith remains as fresh as ever.
“O Little Town of Bethlehem” communicates the unity of the symbolism, spirit, and story of Christmas.
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