Brazil Reflections: The Dead Christ in Church

I don't know how widespread this is, but in the churches we visited in Brazil we saw statues of the Dead Christ.
It's quite startling and very morbid to American spiritual sensibilities. I'm reminded again of Leah Libresco's analysis of Christian pop music, The Sun Is Always Shining In Modern Christian Pop at ESPN's 538 blog.

As Leah points out, American Christian spirituality is persistently positive and optimistic. A statue of the Dead Christ in an American mega-church would be wildly out of place. Could you even imagine that?

But isn't something lost without the Dead Christ? Something integral to the gospel and the Christian experience?

Christ died and was dead. There is a spirituality and truth to Holy Saturday, the season between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. But rarely in American Christianity do we pause and hold ourselves still in that season of Holy Saturday.

And so, in one Brazilian church I knelt before the Dead Christ and held myself there.

And you have to hold yourself there before the Dead Christ, for it is disorienting, hard, awkward and strange.

But I knelt there and prayed and grieved.

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