At the crossroads

There are those who take every word said by Jesus literally, forgetting that he spoke in images rather than arguments, for his mainly unsophisticated rural audiences. Thus, when he said, ‘Take up your cross and follow me,’ he didn’t mean a path of suffering such as he himself had to undergo, dying on a cross.

A cross is a symbol of the intersection of two paths, hence the image of the crossroads. As Bani Shorter observes in If Ritual Dies, ‘Crossings and crossroads are of deep symbolic meaning in life.  It was Hermes, the messenger of the gods, who was guardian at the crossroads in ancient Greece. There, where one is challenged by change of direction and choice, one encounters one’s god.’   Taking up our cross implies integrating the opposites within ourselves – which is indeed a lifetime task.


4 thoughts on “At the crossroads”

  1. Lovely to read this on Good Friday, dear James. Thank you.
    This is the day in the year when I always particularly focus on contemplation and try to attend one of Bach’s great masses – today I am going to hear the St John Passion.
    I will take these thoughts with me – they feel so appropriate!
    With much love,
    Sarah x

  2. Always love to read your thoughts. I always understood Jesus to mean that we should take up life’s challenges and follow his way: of non violence, forgiveness, love,
    compassion etc. Not many of us can. Who can turn the other cheek to insult?

  3. After a long struggle with my relationship with a “religious organization” and myself and my place in it; at a crossroads; for some reason, I have felt such peace and understanding this day of contemplation. The heart struggling with what the mind knows; Seeing clearly through a Glass Darkly. Seeing the holiness beyond the “Church Doors”. Spring displaying the ‘glory of creation so vividly. Jesus dying for us on the cross is so pure. Politics and organizations have made it such a perversion. Another path to be taken, beginning with that first next step.

  4. Thank you for this Dear James, both simple and profound.
    It simply brings me back to a tingling sense of Presence, when listening in contemplative quiet, to ‘the still small voice’ within, that somehow brings with it a broader vision, that calms anxiety, and enables change.
    God Bless you James, and may you have a peaceful Easter.
    With Love

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