Change does not equal growth, but change is the price we pay for growth in any area. Wallace Ford told a powerful story about a people who lived in a community that was enclosed in a glass dome. Although the dome limited them greatly, they knew that they would die a horrible death on the outside, and that story passed from one generation to the next. They had lived with the dome for so many years that they long ago stopped noticing the limits it placed upon them.
There was only one offense so heinous that the penalty was to be cast outside the dome. One day, to everyone’s horror, someone committed that very offense. The punishment was swift. The entire community escorted the offender to the edge of the dome and pushed them out into the world beyond. Then they all pressed their noses to the glass to watch them die.
At first, the offender lay on the ground face down, cowering in terror, wondering how death would come, every muscle clenched against the inevitable.
Nothing happened. After a bit, the offender rolled over, looked around, and then, to the amazement to everyone inside, the outcast stood up and soon began dancing and singing and shouting. Banging on the outside of the dome, the offender shouted, “Come out, come out! It’s wonderful out here. Lots of room, fresh air, warm sunshine!”
The people inside the dome were confused and so distressed that they got buckets of black paint and painted the glass walls as high as they could reach so no one could see the person outside dancing and singing. Then they all breathed a sigh of relief and went back to the way things always had been before that day.
Change is hard and often painful. It is, however, the price we must pay for growth, and the opposite of growth is death.
Jesus personally knew that God’s vision of a people redeemed, forgiven, and liberated from guilt and the fear of death came with a very high price. Without the cross it was nothing more than a dream, a nice thought, a pleasant thing to contemplate on a warm fall afternoon.
Rev. Michael Piazza