The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian

Improvising Upon “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross”

I survey the wondrous cross,
I am horrified.  Tattered and torn
skin…blood matted hair…pain induced quivers…the death of God.  A man so battered and betrayed that



I survey the wondrous cross,
its beauty startles me.  The life…the
love…the compassion…of the death of God. 
It…no, He summons me to feast upon that which I gaze.  For some unresolved reason I accept the



I survey the wondrous cross,
I am haunted. 

For my soul knows…

my inmost being
bows in contrition…


My hands, my thoughts, my eyes
betray the reason    
for the death of God.



I survey the wondrous cross,
I am mystified.  I search for it’s
meaning, for its understanding…for the “why’s” of what I see.  What was God doing on the cross?  There are so many answers.  The more doctrine digested, the more
elusive and yet, simultaneously adjacent the death of God becomes.

Peter, why couldn’t you have kept
it’s meaning to yourself?  “To this
you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” (I Pet. 2.21) Why
must you involve us?  Why must you
summon me? 


As if we want to…

as if I am willing…

to follow the
example of Christ and His cross.

The cross is an example, an
intricate design, on which we lay the transparent parchment of our lives and
sketch our feeble outlines. 

The cross is to be followed, like
tracks in the snow.  We step high
and sink in deep to the openings made by The One who has gone before.

for “out of the cross.” 
Excruciating People–those who live life out of the cross.  Christians–those
who have accepted the invitation to live an excruciating life.
  The cross is a way of life…an
ethos.  Mores not just morals.  The cross is a culture for
pain-absorbing, peace-making, love-wielding, price-paying, cup-drinking people. 



I survey the wondrous cross,
I am terrified.  For what I see and what I know demands my soul, my life, my all.

(An excerpt from my current writing project which will be a jazz-shaped view of the cross)

Comments read comments(3)
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Ben M.

posted April 10, 2009 at 7:18 pm

When I survey the wondrous cross –
I becomes so irrelevant, survey breaks down into looking up from the stony ground to snapshots of a spear, a tear, and everlasting fear, wondrous as i wonder through my wounder and feel utterly inept, cross, the cross, a cross, our cross to bear, but never alone, not like Him.

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Renaissance Clothing

posted April 7, 2010 at 12:09 am

This is a nice blog! Keep it up! Wonderful cross saved us all.

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Deb Rillos

posted April 12, 2010 at 6:19 pm

So glad that you are writing on the cross. The Lord has invited me to go back to the beginning with Him. That is where it all starts! Are you planning a teaching series on this book like you did on the first one? If so, count us in!

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