“From Crucifixion to Hope”

 

From Crucifixion to Hope

Crucifixion was the most horrific punishment used by the Roman Empire to shame and destroy opposition to its rule. Over the years, generations, and centuries other means of total annihilation have emerged. Joan of Arc, along with many others, was burned at the stake, for example. Regardless of the means of torture, this truth remains. Crucifixion always begins small … separating others out … seeing the world as us versus “them.” Blaming “them” for whatever ill is near at hand. Then drawing the noose tighter on “them.” Cutting “them” off from citizenship in all kinds of ways. And ultimately destroying “them.”

In the twentieth century, Nazism remains a horrific memory of crucifying an entire people. And yet, in the end, goodness and love shine through, as demonstrated by so many devoted to returning hatred with love. Two women stand out, both Dutch: Etty Hillesum and Corrie ten Boom. Etty, short for Esther, was Jewish, and lived in Amsterdam as a young adult. Corrie was Evangelical Protestant, living in nearby Haarlem, though they probably never met. Etty died in Auschwitz in November, 1943; Corrie was head of the Dutch underground. Yet each in her own way insisted upon this truth: love was the greatest power on this earth. And love must be developed within each person and used as the only weapon against hatred and crucifixion in all its forms.

Come and hear a living letter from Etty Hillesum and a portrayal of Corrie ten Boom’s family. Come for hope beyond crucifixion.

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