According to my daily prayer app today is Holy Cross day. Apparently its got something to do with some empress finding a bit of wood in an archeological dig and getting excited. But despite these slightly strange origins its probably a good idea to reflect from time to time about the cross, away from the emotions of Holy Week and Easter.
The cross, or rather Jesus on the cross stands at the centre of Christinaity.
The cross is where we can connect with God.
Its where we see how far God’s love goes and its where we see what we’re really like.
I was recently chatting to a friend about sin. He was struggling to get his head round the idea that we are bad, fallen. I said some stuff about sin being like brokenness; wounds we’ve all given each other that stop us living how we want to. Stops us being good, even if we want to. But today, I wonder if we only really discover what sin is when we look at the cross. Its every human tendency to crucify, to attack, to destroy, to be violent. And its every tendency in us that would mean we wouldn’t do it. We wouldn’t give our lives to save or rescue others, our self protection is more important. Perhaps that’s why Jesus says we must take up our crosses and follow him. And on the cross Jesus says forgive them.
Its a tragedy that Christians are thought of as judgemental, but its understandable. We speak about sin, about brokeness, about failure and that makes everyone uncomfortable. But, if the cross is really at the centre of our faith, then our talk of sin should not be judgemental. It should simply be acknowlegement that we are far less than we want to do and that because of the cross we are rescued, we are forgiven, we can be different.
Here’s a prayer from that app.
who in the passion of your blessed Son
made an instrument of painful death
to be for us the means of life and peace:
grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ
that we may gladly suffer for his sake;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.