symbols that separate

trade your cross for a crown

It is our intention as Universalists to tear down the walls that separate us from one another and to build bridges that connect us.  We have joined, today, with millions of Jews around the world as they remember and reenact their deliverance out of bondage in Egypt and into Canaan, the “land of milk and honey.”

As truth resonates and teaches on  multiple levels of consciousness, we see the metaphor that it represents in our own life.   We celebrate our emergence from the darkness of ignorance and into the light of wisdom. Christianity has celebrated Easter since the death and resurrection of the historical Jesus.  He was killed: crucified on a cross.  That cross, “the symbol of suffering and shame” as sung in old gospel songs, has held Jesus and Christianity hostage by its negative connotation.  The cross is an ancient symbol; and is was not the symbol of Christianity as taught by Jesus’ apostles nor later by the Gnostics.  That symbol is the fish.

The Emperor Constantine in the early fourth century, although not Christian himself, called together The SYNOD OF NICAEA.  That gathering of conflicting Christian leaders created a body of work that we call “orthodoxy”.  In the process of removing much of Jesus’ teaching, reincarnation was deleted.  The cross was taken as the symbol of Christianity.

That denigrating cross symbolism has not only tainted Jesus’ teachings of loving peace and brotherhood; it has separated us from our brothers of other religions.  Martin Luther’s reformation further established the vision of a wrathful God, rather than a loving Creator and he called it “The Theology of The Cross.”  These teachings strengthened our role as “sinners” and denied us our birthright of divinity.  Jesus said, “IS IT NOT WRITTEN IN THE LAW (Jewish Law) THAT GOD SAID, “YE ARE GODS AND THAT THE LAW CANNOT BE BROKEN.”  John 10:34.  Jesus came as perfected man to inspire humanity to follow in his footsteps.  ‘BE YE PERFECT, EVEN AS YOUR FATHER IS PERFECT.” he said in Matthew 5:48.

The symbol of the cross has been seen by many people as a sword. A woman I met in India told me that she thought the cross to be a sword, and that it was the way we made conversions to Christianity.  Let us not be held hostage any longer to symbolism that separates us from others.  We are in a family of almost six billion people.  One out of every five of us is Chinese, one of every five is Muslim, one our of every five of us lives in India, which is mostly Hindu.  We are of one family and our family name is Humanity.

It is past time that we take Jesus off the cross and place a crown of wisdom on the head of the Gentle Teacher.  Let us then concentrate on Genesis 1:26 where it is written that “WE ARE CREATED IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD”.

Let us strengthen our vision of Universality that includes people of all races, religions and nationalities living and prospering together in harmony.  As we honor the historic Jesus and celebrate the Universal Christ; let us celebrate, too, that diversity which enriches our collective spirituality.