Moving away from the origins of this Holy Cross Sunday, we received Scripture from Numbers 21:4b-9, 1 Corinthians 1:18-24 and John 3:13-17, with each focusing upon the cross. John 3:13-17 avoids all of what is going on with Nicodemus, and places the focus upon what happens in Numbers 21 in what God did to save everyone who had been bitten by poisonous snakes and then the two favorites, on how God so loves the world. Sunday morning I shared that God didn’t take away the snakes and the people continued to be bitten, but God gave them something in the bronze snake on the pole to heal them and help them live for another day. Then I shared much with the Israelites, God doesn’t take away the struggles, hardships and pain that we face, but provides for us the cross of Jesus that we can look upon and can heal us and help us receive hope, peace and joy for another day.
In the children’s sermon for Sunday, I asked for them to count all of the crosses they saw in the church and they couldn’t count them all. Then I showed the crucifix cross in the picture and shared with them how sometimes we need to be reminded of the suffering, pain and hurt Jesus went through, out of how much he loves us, as we see him dying on the cross. Then we need to be reminded that all of the other crosses in the church are bare, because Jesus was raised from the dead. This is an encouragement for all of us this Holy Cross Sunday week, wherever there may be a cross in our homes, along with our wearing attire and at our churches, for us to let go of all of the decorations of our cleaned up crosses, and really prayerfully focus how God so loves the world in what Jesus did, as he suffered and died upon the cross for the forgiveness of all of our sins. Then if the cross is bare, to be reminded of Jesus’ resurrection and how our Savior is with us always and the salvation all of us have received from our Lord.
Lifting high the cross of Jesus throughout this new week ahead!