Majesty Accessible

The grandeur of God is the measure of his mercy.

St. Paul’s Cathedral, London

Some preachers speak comfortably from a raised pulpit; others address the congregation from the floor between the chancel and the pews. Parishioners probably differ in their preferences too. Is it better to hear the word from on high? or to have it brought to our level, remembering we are all humble recipients, not the source of the Word?

Now recall the episode in Numbers 4:29, when the people of Jhwh are cured of hideous disease by seeing a bronze serpent lifted up before them. John 3:14 makes explicit the connection between that event and Jesus Christ’s being lifted up on the cross. In both we have a powerful connection between God’s self-offering and visibility. Jesus could just as well have been killed by soldiers in a back room of Pilate’s palace, but the crowd demands to see him crucified.

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