During the Reformation, some wanted to put distance between Protestants and Catholics, and they saw the elimination of the crucifix image as one way to separate the faiths. This is what happened later in the United States where Lutherans were influenced by Calvinists to abandon the image of the cross bearing the body of Christ. In European Lutheran churches, crucifixes remain common.
I have chosen not to focus on the end of Jesus’ life and ministry, nor on his profound suffering. This is significant and must be remembered, but it is not the primary focus of who Jesus is. I focus on Jesus’ loving example—how he refused to stone the unfaithful woman, how he honored the offerings of the poor widow, how he showed love and grace to the woman, outcast and bleeding for over a decade, who only wanted to get close enough to touch his dusty hem.
Today is Reformation Sunday and the 21st Sunday after Pentecost. This message is an excerpt of “Jesus the Shepherd” by Karen Craigo in the May 2017 issue of Gather magazine.
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