Our Circle didn’t get together today, the day we remember the crucifixion of Jesus. And so I was not part of any ritual.

A part of me misses that because some parts of the ritual have emotional impact. Some parts I don’t miss, the fact that it repeats in identical (or at least very similar) routine year after year, for instance. Worse, every year I would experience those who attended, not out of sheer and absolute horror at what happened to Jesus because of sin, but because it was expected of them, either within themselves or peer pressure.

I know that I have trouble singing that powerful hymn, “Ten Thousand Angels”, and it gets worse as I age. I cannot get through it, except with extreme will-power, as the words, “He could have called ten thousand angels / To destroy the world and set him free…But he died alone for you and me.” Doesn’t that bring you to tears?

There is nothing I can bring, do or believe that can meet the standard of acceptability by an Almighty Creator. I enter relationship with God only because God redeemed people with the only gift that would work – The Divine Self whom we know as Jesus.

And God had to do it in such a way that people could actually repent and not go through with the torture, humiliation and gruesome death that Jesus was willing to endure “for you and me.”

But we as a species failed again. So many not only agreed with the death, participated in it (or ran away instead of standing with Messiah), but seemed to take great pleasure in the whole thing.

Has anything changed?

People who claim spiritual status still torture the innocent children of God, financially, religiously, politically. Did we learn nothing?

Apartheid was sanctioned by the church. Hitler’s solution to the Jewish problem was sanctioned by the church. Degradation of women, brutalization of homosexuals on the streets of Toronto and other Canadian cities and supremacy of church law over the Bible is still sanctioned by many parts of the institutional church.

Today would be a good day to repent of the harm done to others by self-righteous religion. How can you look at Jesus on the cross and still act for your selfish advantage or opinion?

As for me, I look at Calvary and the strength leaves my knees, water flows from my eyes, and I become breathless as the indescribable love of Creator, Messiah and Paraclete wash over me.

And I don’t deserve a moment of it. Except Jesus says, “Take it. I give it to you. It is a gift.”

“Hallelujah! What a Saviour.”