Each Sunday in Lent we will be sharing a short reflection written by a Christian author.
It stands at the crossroads of history – literally dividing time into a ‘before’ and an ‘after’. Down through the centuries, and across the globe, the cross of Christ is recognized as the iconic symbol of Christianity. Its impact on world history: incalculable.
For believers the cross stands as a stake, marking the centre point of our faith. When my kids were small they loved making treasure maps and would shout, ‘X marks the spot’ - and for Christians it truly does. The glory of the gospel shines brightly at the cross because there we find forgiveness, it is where God showed the full extent of his love, it is where his wrath was satisfied and Satan defeated.
If the cross is so pivotal, and I believe it is, then why do I sometimes find myself indifferent to it? The awesome love, mercy and grace God demonstrated there becomes familiar, accepted, even expected. I longed to recapture the wonder of the cross, to daily experience the power, peace and freedom the Bible promises.
This personal quest to make it real, for the cross to cast a longer shadow over my life, started during Lent a few years ago. Theologians talk about living cruciform lives but I wanted to know what that meant in practice. How does it play out in my life as I juggle responsibilities at work and home, raise my children and struggle with health issues? My reflections developed into a book and subsequently a study guide.
While researching I found a wonderful story about the great French sculptor Auguste Rodin, who one day saw a huge, carved crucifix beside a road. He was so moved by this exquisite sculpture that he immediately purchased it and arranged to have it carted back to his house. Unfortunately the cross was too big for the building. So, what did he do? He knocked out the walls, raised the roof, and rebuilt his home around the cross.
That is my aim.
The renovation work is extensive - walls of pride, selfishness, and self-reliance need to be demolished; the roof needs to be lifted off my own dreams and ambitions and raised heavenwards.
It is a labour of love that will last a lifetime.
But I invite you this Lent to join me in this endeavour. Let’s not just make it a prayer but our driving ambition to be more and more men and women of the cross. For his glory.
Elizabeth McQuoid is a trustee of Keswick ministries, speaker at women's events and the author of The Amazing Cross.
April 9th, 2017 - Posted & Written by Laura White