The Pocket Cross.

[caption id="attachment_3997" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Made by Douglas Farmer"][/caption]The picture you see is of a cross that was given to me on Sunday by a member of the congregation who spent hours carving and honing this little piece of wood. It fits into your hand almost like a glove. "I made it for you to carry in your pocket" my friend said as he pressed it into my hand. I know its only a piece of wood, I know it has no magical powers but its a reminder that we Christians are shaped by the cross of Jesus Christ. Paul in his epistles speaks to us about being crucified with Christ, about dying to self and rising to a new way of living. I guess there is no getting away from the power and significance of the Cross of Jesus Christ. Thousands of years later we still find ourselves intrigued by its message and its power to attract and also to repulse us. I remember going to see Mel Gibson's film entitled 'The Passion" I must confess I found that picture very difficult to sit through. While we want to talk about the love of God very often we don't want to think about the cost of that love. At the heart of the Christian Gospel is the idea of Judgement and Justice. The cross of Christ becomes the symbol of Judgement and justice. These two words go together because there can be no Justice unless there is Judgement. So you see the cross forces us all to think deeply about forgiveness and grace and above all about the place of sacrifice and how redemption can come through another. One thing I do know, I may carry a cross in my pocket, but the Gospel refuses to be anyone's pocket. The cross is not the private domain of anyone of us. It also refuses to be locked into a theological box. Its like the greatest diamond of all time. It gleams into all eternity allowing the light of the gospel to shine through it revealing to people like you and me from time to time just a tiny aspect of the Glory of God. So the cross is a many sided diamond gleaming and sparkling in the dark. I'll be thinking on the cross and its significance for the rest of my days. And can I say thank you to my friend he has given me a theological excuse for walking about with my hand in my pocket.
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