Obedience Does Not Mean Submission to Violent Power

Redeeming Good Friday for Survivors

Every Good Friday, Central Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas, holds a worship service dedicated to the seven last words of Christ. Taking readings from each Gospel, worshippers meditate on Jesus’ forgiveness of his murderers, his pardon of criminals, his final instructions to his disciples, his doubt, his thirst, his acceptance, and finally, his submission to God as he dies.

It is his last utterance — “Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit” — that shapes much of our theology of sacrifice, and our Christian call to obedience as faithful submission to God. But as a young Texas seminary student newly grappling with my history of childhood sexual violence, those were not the Good Friday words from Christ that my shattered heart ached to hear. [ . . . ] Read Full Story at Sojourners


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