Our first Sunday in Lent is March 1st this year – and (really on Ash Wednesday) we will be looking at the Cross throughout the Lenten Season – all the way through Easter. I can still remember that the very first Cross necklace given to me was when I was confirmed back in the 9th grade. Through the many years I’ve received many ‘crosses’ in many forms: necklace, tie tacks, bookmarks, lapel pins, decorative crosses that sit in my office, plaques, etc. I also have given out many crosses through the years to family, friends and confirmation classes! Some are elaborate polished platinum with gems embedded. Some are made of wood – very simple. Some are pictured on some other item. You see – the cross is truly a reminder of the amazing sacrifice – the amazing forgiveness – the amazing love that come to us through Jesus’ gift to us shown upon the cross.
One cross that I still have I got after my mom passed away – that was stored in a box in our old house. It is actually a crucifix – a cross with Jesus upon it – that was from my Grandfather (my dad’s dad). My dad was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition – but didn’t practice later on in life. My grandfather passed away when I was very young (around 5 years old) and I still remember going to the cemetery with my father after his death (My grandmother died shortly before my grandfather). So, when we discovered the crucifix my brothers decided I should have it – because I’m the minister! I see it often in my office – and it reminds me that somehow even through many generations – people have seen something special – something important – in this symbol we call the cross. Plus – it reminds us that through this event Jesus truly showed us what our faith in him is all about.
We will look at the cross this Lenten season. We will examine and explore scriptures that tell us about the meaning of the Cross. We will look into our own hearts and ask ourselves exactly what the Cross of Jesus means to each of us. In some ways it is very personal. In other ways it is what binds us together as followers of Jesus. But one thing the Cross should always remind us of – THAT OUR OLD LIFE DIED WITH CHRIST ON THE CROSS!
Let’s journey together during Lent. I know I’m looking forward to viewing the Cross in some new ways in my own life! How about you? The old life is gone – all things are fresh and new! See you in church!
In Jesus’ Love – Pastor Dan