The way of the cross doesn’t make sense. Not to this world. Not to culturalized Christianity. But the way of the cross is exactly what we need.
Reading for today:
Psalm 45, 47, 48
I Cor. 1:20-31
This hymn was sung in the church we attended the past Sunday. The words have tumbled through my spirit ever since.
Bless now, O God, the journey that all your people make,
the path through noise and silence, the way of give and take.
The trail is found in desert and winds the mountain round,
then leads beside still waters, the road where faith is found.
Bless sojourners and pilgrims who share this winding way;
your hope burns through the terrors, you love sustains the day.
We yearn for holy freedom while often we are bound;
together we are seeking the road where faith is found.
Divine eternal lover, you meet us on the road.
We wait for lands of promise where milk and honey flow,
but waiting not for places, you meet us all around.
Our covenant is written on roads, as faith is found.
Words: Sylvia Dunstan (1955-1993)
The second verse is something I carry this week. We often walk in bondage and just don’t recognize it. We think we have freedom, yet we are bound. The way of the cross will lead us to true freedom. This is my longing prayer for the day.
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. (2 Peter 3:11-12a, NIV) Read more
We have made “sin” a list of things. It makes it easy to define the “insiders” and the “outsiders.” Read more
The cross is that powerful paradox that delivers all at once the sting of death and the power of life.
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matt. 16:24-25)
It is about this time of year when a large part of the Church focuses on Lent that another part of the Church will cry out for more attention on the resurrection. The clamor is probably about the misconception of living in the cross without the power of the resurrection. I get that. I understand that can become a focus that is not healthy.
Yet, in this time of year, I am reminded of the incredible power of the cross. It’s not that I don’t live in the power of the resurrection. One of my favorite verses is about the same Spirit which raised Christ from the dead dwells in me (Rom. 8:11)!
Friends, it is BOTH. We must have the power of the cross effective in our lives. Through this time of reading in Lent I am also reminded of the overwhelming focus of Paul’s preaching. He says to the Corinthians, “But we preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23). The cross is a stumbling block. Let it be a stumbling block for unbelievers, not believers!