Kim Fabricius hits the mark once again with this sermon for Palm Sunday / Holy Week. Here is a paragraph to whet your appetite to go and read the whole thing (and if necessary make some changes to the sermons you are planning to preach over the next few days). Kim refers to Holbein’s ‘Dead Christ’; this is Mantegna.
This sermon doesn’t have three points, it’s got three words: Lose your faith!
(I warned you I would be sacrilegious.) Yes, lose your faith. Lose your
faith in God. For as the French mystic Simone Weil insisted, there is a
kind of atheism that is purifying, cleansing us of idols. Lose your
faith in the god that the cross exposes as a no-god, a sham god. Lose
your faith in the god who is but the product of your projections,
fantasies, wishes, and needs, a security blanket or good-luck charm
god. Lose your faith in the god who is there to hold your hand, solve
your problems, rescue you from your trials and tribulations, the deus ex machina,
literally the “machine god”, wheeled out onto the stage in ancient
Greek drama, introduced to the plot artificially to resolve its
complications and secure a happy ending. Lose your faith in the god who
confers upon you a privileged status that is safe and secure. Lose your
faith in the god who promises you health, wealth, fulfilment, and
success, who pulls rabbits out of hats. Lose your faith in the god with
whom your conscience can be at ease with itself. Lose your faith in the
god who, in Dennis Potter’s words, is the bandage, not the wound. Lose
your faith in the god who always answers when you pray and comes when
you call. Lose your faith in the god who is never hidden, absent, dead,
entombed. For the “Father who art in heaven” – this week he is to be
found in hell – with his Son.