For many marginalized communities, the importance of the cross is that it is the location where Christ chose solidarity with the world’s marginalized. Christ becomes one with the crucified people of his time, as well as with all who are crucified today on the crosses of racism, sexism, classism, and heterosexism. These crosses are places of violence, littered with broken lives and bodies. Jesus’ solidarity with the world’s failures and the world’s powerlessness points to the God of the oppressed. Here is the importance of the cross. God is not the God of those who crucify, only of those who are crucified. The paradox of the cross is that, in spite of what it symbolizes, there is resurrection.
This quote from ethicist Miguel de la Torre is confronting. God is not the God of those who crucify, only of those who are crucified. What does this mean for us? God is a God of the margins; therefore, the church should be a movement organically grown from crucified communities particularly as we acknowledge Reconciliation Week, the crosses of racism...
There is an urgent and desperate need for a reimagining of the cross in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples:
This means that for Aboriginal Australians, Christ is revealed not as a German Jesus, an English Jesus, or even a Jewish Jesus, but as an Aboriginal Jesus.
How do we sit with the image of an Aboriginal Jesus?
In reimaging Jesus with the crucified of this nation, the power structures are interrupted uniting us in God’s Kingdom ready to ‘take the next steps’ toward a reimagined Australian identity.
At this point, I would like you to pick up your message stone.
Take a moment to look over the stone, taking in the richness of its art.
Now close your eyes.
Feel over the stone, take in its textures, the smooth contours of the stone. The subtle texture of the paint.
Before we take the next steps, let us take a moment to think of the footprints of history in Aboriginal Torres Strait Island affairs.
Stolen Generations of past and current Stolen Generations.
Thinking more locally, what footsteps have our state and local policies left on Indigenous communities, what is the narrative?
The remnants of ‘Boundary Streets’
More personally, in your work, your church and your social circles what are the footprints I have left?
Do we present an inviting space for a non-white Jesus?
In our homes, how do our footprints dictate the household narrative on marginalised communities?
Are our children aware of difference?
Now picture you are walking along a beach, your nation, your personal life has left all these footprints in the wet sands of history. In your mind, turn around and look at your trail. Let Gods wave break upon the shore and cleanse that beach. Wash away the footprints of the past.
Not to forget, but to reimagine. Think of all our footprints being taken up and united together for reimagined future.
Miguel de la Torre together with Rainbow Spirit Elders points to the cross as the breaking down of barriers in much broader terms than what appears an oversimplified gospel reading:
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3.28)
But if we let Amari Tjalkuri’s art piece, Calvary, tell the story then we can see the cross as a definitive connection between all peoples. There will be neither Indigenous nor Non-Indigenous when solidarity is realised.
But when do we know solidarity realised?
When we no longer need to say sorry.
How long do we need to say sorry for?
Until the marginalised say, it is no longer required.
Perhaps our reimaging of Australian culture is to realise that it is not the responsibility of Indigenous Australia. But the responsibility of the non-indigenous to let go of power and walk in the ‘others’ footsteps.
As we go about our days and weeks from now, please keep your message stones. Hold them regularly and reflect how do we go from this quiet time to taking the next steps in solidarity with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island brothers and sisters?
by Peter Jeffery
 Miguel De La Torre, "Thursday," in Daily Feast: Meditations from Feasting on the Word Year A, ed. Kathleen Long Bostrom, Elizabeth F. Caldwell, and Jana K. Riess (Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013), 277.
 Rainbow Spirit Elders, Rainbow Spirit Theology: Towards an Australian Aboriginal Theology (2007: ATF Press, 2007), 61.
 Amari Tjalkuri, Calvary, 2017. Bible Society.
 Michael Connolly, Footprints, 2017. Message Stones. Dreamtime Kullilla-Art.
Jo Inkpin, Penny Jones, Peter Jeffery, Ann Edwards, Elizabeth McConnell