The technology of cap-guns has advanced exponentially since I was a boy. My sons’ cap pistols fire ring-caps. Every cap fires! And when all eight shots are discharged and all aggressors vanquished, the next ring can be loaded in seconds. My friends and I had rolls of paper caps. Loaded with surgical care and threaded into the trigger mechanism with the skill of a reel-to-reel projectionist, in theory the caps would roll so that the charge was positioned under the hammer. This was only theory, however. Most rolls had more mis-fires than good caps. Ultimately, our father’s hammer proved to be the only reliable weapon. With clumsy triggers and constant misfeeds, our guns were not responsive. Today’s cap pistols, like today’s people, are much more sensitively triggered.
It doesn’t require much to set either off. Post-modernism and social media have produced a perfect recipe for triggered people. Ready to get fired up at any suggestion which conflicts with our cherished mantras, we have lost the ability for reasoned dialogue. A recent writer noted that while accepting others and agreeing with others have traditionally not been the same thing, now there is no degree of acceptance without total agreement. The odd thing about post-modernity which declares that a thing can be “true for you, but not for me,” is that post-moderns ruthlessly demand their “truth,” which needs no universal basis, receive universal acceptance.
Everything seems to provoke a strong reaction. But few things provoke a stronger reaction than the claims of Christ. C. S. Lewis famously noted that Jesus was either “the Son of God or a madman or something worse.” You must either accept his claims or reject him as delusional. Jesus asks his disciples “who do men say that I am?” When they reported the various theories of the men of their age, he pointedly asked them – “But you, who do you say that I am?”
This question is nowhere more poignantly posed than from the cross. Soldiers mocked him, religious leaders taunted him, women mourned him, many who passed by could not have cared less, the disciples abandoned him and the Father forsook him – but then declared him to be all that he claimed to be. There are many paintings of that famous scene, but one of the most compelling is James Tissot’s “What Our Lord Saw From the Cross.” In this painting we see all those who are gathered around. Pictured in their faces and their demeanor are their reactions to the most significant event in history. They were all triggered in one way or another. How does the cross trigger you? What is your reaction to this moment in time which is so eminently significant for your own life and your own death?
Join us this Lord’s Day, April 7, as we examine Matthew 27 and consider the different responses of those who witnessed the crucifixion and as we reflect on our own response. We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock. Click here for directions. Come with a friend and join us for fellowship and worship. We look forward to seeing you there.