(I am reading Cross Shattered Christ by Stanley Hauerwas for the next seven days of lent. One chapter a day, one blog post a day.)
Truely I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise – Luke 23:43
God is in the connections we cannot make – quoting Williams on p39
Hauerwas writing is very readable and the themes in this slim volume are becoming clear.
His first theme is that our understanding of the passage is mistaken, partly through a the reticence of the gospels to fill in the blanks for Jesus and his life. This space creates room for our thoughts to run wild. and our understanding of the words are mistaken. We presume the words of the thief who recognises Jesus on the cross are a request to have something of note, something which marks our own importance as humans. This is build on the fear of the impersonality of God, proven through a modern-day scientific outlook and our membership of nations which have a constant and active reassertion of our importance on an international scale.
the second theme is around the work of Jesus being to bring us into the trinity. Hauerwas directs us again to the work of Jesus here, noting that he had to have the ability to take the thief to paradise. The part on remembrance being the form a politics of hope has to take before the cross is interesting stuff. to remembered a claimed by Jesus is the key thing. It is paradise, (this remembrance brings us ‘now and not yet’ into the work of the trinity), where our insecurity of about our memory and who will remember us dies away.
Our salvation is no more or no less than being made part of God’s body, God’s enfleshed memory, so that the world may know that we are redeemed from our fevered and desperate desire to insure we will not be forgotten. p44