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Conversations with Crosses

11 Jan

I want to love the Acts of Andrew. It’s one of the few Acts that’s actually fun to read throughout, with its titillating, platonic love triangle that leads to our hero’s martyrdom. Even better than the tame soap opera stuff, Andrew’s speeches are actually quite moving to this cynic. They’re filled with incisive philosophical musings that go beyond the usual “yay celibacy” and also, “praise Jesus” proclamations I’ve come to expect in these texts.

While the Gospel of Peter gives us a talking cross, the Acts of Andrew offers one that listens. Brought to his fated cross, Andrew greets the “weary” wood, and says  it can rest now that he’s finally arrived: “Greetings, O cross! … though you have been weary for a long time… now at last you can rest.” Empathizing with his means of execution, Andrew, who likewise has “been weary for so long,” is eager to rest with the cross. Adding one more strange romance to the list, it seems so sweet that they’re together at last.

Bound, but not nailed, to the cross (lest he seem too Christ-like), Andrew addresses a massive crowd from his literal post. He criticizes worldviews that sound much more modern than ancient, monologuing at length:

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