Spring, 2018 Pastor’s Message

Reflecting the Cross

liturgical banner with cross emblem

It was a reflection that caught my eye in the soft light of the room where a small circle of the servants of God were gathered. A beautiful, simple, small banner of unbleached muslin with a multi-colored, quilt-like fabric cross in the center and matching border graced the low table and a large stainless steel bowl of water sat on top of it. What I noticed, at the close of the hand-washing ritual I shared with our deacons, was a reflection of that multi-colored cross on the exterior of the bowl. It struck me as a symbol, an image, a reminder that this is what following Jesus looks like: we are called to reflect the cross that we hold, and that holds us, on this way of discipleship, this way of being, this way of love.

It is a cross that no matter how beautiful we make it; with multi-colored fabric, the draping of purple for Lent, the gold of the one on our altar, with a profusion of fresh cut flowers on Easter morning, no matter how beautiful we make it, it is still a cross that we are called to "take up and follow." A cross that is a remarkably enduring symbol of self-giving love. It is powerful to recall how this crude instrument of prolific state-sponsored terror and execution, used to crucify Jesus, was and continues to be transformed into a symbol of faith, our faith. A faith in a God who is love, creates us in love, comes to us as love, teaches us to love, dies for love, rises in love, brings us to life through love, inspires us in love, and equips us to love, even as God has first loved us.

The cross of love: this is the cross we are called to "take up," to reflect, as we follow in the way of Jesus.

May it be so.

Pastor Shelly

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