Bethlehem and Calvary
The Rev. Kenneth Leech, in his book We Preach Christ Crucified writes this,
The cross of Christ then is not a call either to resignation in the face of unutterable pain or to a life of masochistic pursuit of suffering, often called "the way of the cross." It is a call to recognise solidarity with the Christ who has confronted pain and death once for all, and a call to minister to the wounded Christ as he is found broken and bruised on the highways of the world. And here we see both the concrete significance and, in a profound sense, the irrelevance of Bethlehem and Calvary. Bethlehem and Calvary were the concrete, historic locations, the "sites of significance," chosen of God and precious, the redeeming places. Yet Bethlehem is wherever there is no room; Calvary is all sites of cruelty and oppression. "Just as you did it to the least of these...you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40).The image here is James B. Janknegt's "Crucifixion at Barton Creek Mall." It is jarring, almost blasphemous, to see the crucifixion depicted in such a setting. Yet, if Leech is on to something in the quote above, then Christ's crucifixion has profound implications for every place we see someone suffering and in need. Not only the mall, but also our classrooms and workplaces—everywhere we go—have the potential to demonstrate what we believe about Jesus' suffering and death, if we show in those places that we learned the lessons of Bethlehem and Calvary.
You can see more of fellow Episcopalian James B. Janknegt's artwork online at his home page and at the Episcopal Church and the Visual Arts website and his art for sale at Brilliant Corners Art Farm.