Friday, July 29, 2016

WHAT ARE WE TO EXPECT...WHEN CARRYING A CROSS?

Concepts of God are liable to become too easily misplaced by an unconscious focus upon archaicism rather than a definitive expectation in the now.  From this I mean to say that speaking of the Cross might lose it's intensity because this age doesn't see public execution of criminals hanging from a cross.  We are more aware of hanging by the neck in Westerns and gas chambers or lethal injections in our penal systems.  The Cross, therefore, becomes more of a church term for drastic commitment rather than a sobering method of serving God.

If Jesus were to address gatherings today he would likely speak in terms understood by those of that locale.  Live from the Gas Chambers and follow me?  Take in the killer solution through your veins and follow me?  It doesn't sound right does it?  The Cross is just as lethal but its potency has become lost in religious discussion.  Yet, His call for us to take up our crosses and follow Him remains pertinent to disciples of the Living God.

This fundamental misconception among churchers is why so many move through the front doors and out the back ones of our congregations.  We.  Don't.  Do.  Trouble.  Odd, don't you think?  The Cross is nothing but trouble.  It is the ugliest --in the times of Jesus--scandal to be viewed in public square.  This fact has lost impact over the centuries.  The hope of the world is God's people upon our crosses.  Yet, basically, if we become offended by the slightest innuendo we seem to bolt because we feel that if we are going to serve in the church we deserve better.  This is one of our gravest mistakes if not the gravest.

What are we to expect...when carrying a cross?  Anything but convenience.  Anything but glory.  Anything but handy.  And, anything but fun.

America isn't in a bind due to the Democrats or the Republicans first.  She is in a deep and desperate struggle for sanity because we have come down from our crosses and transformed them into symbols for decor of sanctuaries, wall-hangings, and jewelry.  Can you imagine a woman wearing a necklace of a gas chamber or hangman's noose?

I want to reinforce your calling from God to take up your cross and follow Him.  We are not going to get our way.  We are not going to move through church without moments of pain, agony, and even abuse.  Rather these negatives are to be what we are about because we are on a severely strenuous rescue mission....doing what we can to cheer a very broken world.

Never give up.  Never quit....not ever.

1 comment:

Kent Linda said...

This weekend will be devoted to reading Glenn Penner's "In the Shadow of the Cross"....we know that all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted"..."a sobering method of serving God."