Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Motherhood (II) Scandalous Things

So we have been telling Jonathan about Jesus. A story at night before we pray with him and put him to bed. (Notice I said 'put him to bed' and didn't make any outrageous claims about sleep. Honesty is important).

And we've done Jesus' birth and lots of the teaching and healing stories, some other miracles. Each time we talk about Jesus we try and tell Jonathan why Jesus is special and different, and particularly that Jesus is the only way to God.

And then we got to the crucifixion. I was suddenly very glad that we've started this early. It is hard to know exactly what Jonathan genuinely understands, though Mark and I have agreed that we want him to always hear us talking about Jesus, so we're not going to hang about until we're sure he'll understand.

I was glad we started early in this situation because the scandal of it really hit me. Here we are talking about Jesus to Jonathan every night and showing how fantastic he is, how he rescues people who don't deserve it. And suddenly we're explaining that Jesus died.

Not just that he died, but that he was executed by humanity. Our whole response to being rescued was to insist that we didn't need it and were offended by the very suggestion. And this person who did nothing but good was suddenly killed.

It was hard work. Not hard to recite the well-known facts, but hard to face again the utter sinfulness of humanity. We're wicked. Scandalously wicked.

And over and against that you have Jesus. Dying for his enemies. Determined in the face of rejection to do a work of mercy so extraordinary that it cannot be described. Scandalous love.

It was difficult partly because we know that Jonathan hasn't heard this before. And it's so hard to explain to a new human being that this is the species he's joined: we are all wicked like this. And difficult because it highlights what we know to be true about Jonathan: he's going to do wicked things. He'll live his entire life needing this death that Jesus died for him, while he was his enemy.


We do the resurrection next. I'm looking forward to that.