I was pondering today the fact that Christians use the cross as an icon of the Christian faith, and finding it insteresting. To me it isn't so much the cross that's important, because anyone can die. But an empty tomb just doesn't make a very good icon, I guess. I can see why the cross was chosen--it's gloriously gruesome and reminds us that God came here and died. Plus it's defiantly against Judaism, to whom it is an outrage to think the Messiah would die on the cross. And it also elicits some nice, controlling emotions like guilt for the suffering we caused.
But I was thinking how interesting it is that it's so much easier to iconize (idolize) death than life. It's what we do in our media so often, with all sorts of movies about romantic war heroes and such. When someone dies they're a martyr, and we can remember them as an icon for some laudable act. But when someone lives...it's hard to make that an icon. It's still going on. It can't be captured in an image or a trite phrase.
I think that's what Christianity should be about--and yet, we make an icon of the cross, the part we can control, the part that's finished, the death. But what do we make of the life, the Living Presence of God, the fact that God isn't done living and acting in the world? We can't make an icon of that...but it's all too easy to forget.