Saturday, April 4, 2015

Giles Fraser: "A Church Is at Its Best When It Fails, When It Gives Up on All the Ecclesiastical Glitter, When the Weeds Start to Break Through the Floor"

Giles Fraser in The Guardian on how Christianity is, in its most central affirmations, all about the failure of a man condemned to a humiliating death as a common criminal, who died virtually alone after his followers abandoned him. Christianity is all about empty tombs and weeds breaking through church floors:

In a world where we semaphore our successes to each other at every possible opportunity, churches cannot be blamed for failing to live up to this austere and wonderful message. The worst of them judge their success in entirely worldly terms, by counting their followers. Their websites show images of happy, uncomplicated people doing good improving stuff in the big community. But if I am right about the meaning of Christ’s passion, then a church is at its best when it fails, when it gives up on all the ecclesiastical glitter, when the weeds start to break through the floor, and when it shows others that failure is absolutely nothing of the sort. This is the site of real triumph, the moment of success. Failure is redeemed. Hallelujah.

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