Facing Calvary

Lenten Reflections Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi 2012

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Unlike the anticipation of the Advent season where the focus is on new birth and the manger, Lent leads our thoughts inexorably to the cross. The crucifix often becomes invisible to us when we see jewelry and other decorations fashioned in the cruciform shape. We take for granted that it is situated in a prominent place in our sanctuaries and often fail to register its significance as our eyes survey the space on Sunday mornings. A visitor to one of the grand cathedrals of historic Christianity would be confronted the cross adorning everything at every turn but left to wonder, why the cross? Why has the Savior’s death furnishing become symbolic of the faith of hope?

The answer to this question is simple..and complex. The death of Jesus Christ and His subsequent resurrection are the key elements of the gospel; without them one came preaching good news but left us wondering. Escaping the confinement of the tomb on that first Easter morning dismissed all doubt. Sin had extracted a terrible toll but hope brought a new radiance as the living Savior showed himself having overcome the greatest fear of humanity, death.

Reflecting on the empty cross reminds us of both the cost of redemption and the hope brought about by not having to face the debt ourselves. We have about six weeks in which to prepare ourselves spiritually for the celebration of the resurrected Christ. We will keep the cross in front of us and reflect on it in depth so that when the beauty of the draped cross confronts us on Easter morning we will never again be tempted to take it for granted.

Grace and peace from the One who is over all and through all and in all.

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