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02.04.2021

When I Convey the Wondrous Cross

It’s a reflective time for the UK.

Two weeks ago we were invited to pause and reflect on a year since Lockdown One.

Today, on Good Friday, churches invite everyone to pause and reflect on the cross.

We should find connections between these two events. And those connections should seep into our words and actions.

It’s clear the Queen’s famous annus horribilis in 1992 has been trumped. This has been a year dominated by negative news.

The positive exceptions must, of course, be treasured. We’ve re-found heroes among NHS workers and supermarket shelf-fillers, for example. But highlights are easier to spot when it’s dark outside.

This has been a year with more than its fair share of doom and gloom. We’ve lived through limitations and frustrations, and we’ve grieved as more than 125,000 in the UK haven’t lived through it at all.

Good Friday is a reflection day for Christians. But we’re supposed to survey the wondrous cross in order to convey the wondrous cross.

So, if the cross speaks in all contexts, to all people, what timely words can we take to heart and take to others on our frontlines?

When Grünewald painted the crucifixion to display in a hospice caring for those with the plague or leprosy, he depicted Jesus with bubonic sores, symbolically showing that Jesus understood and shared their afflictions.* What can we emphasise in Christ’s sacrifice and offer to a world in waiting this year?

To a hurting and grieving world, may we find words of empathy and healing.
The cross offers those facing death a vital chance to reassess life.

To a troubled and waiting world, may we find words of comfort and hope.
The cross suggests there’s more going on than meets the eye.

To a confused and weary world, may we find words of help and direction.
The cross gives us more than enough to go on – and keep going on.

In the end, our reflections on the cross point to a Saviour who brings good from bad. We are reminded that a broken world is not the end of the story.

We look beyond today and our faith points to the one not limited by isolation.
To the one who steps through a locked door and a locked-down room and offers shalom.

We reflect – on the cross, today, so our lives better reflect the cross, wherever we find ourselves, tomorrow. Let’s convey this cross.


Ken Benjamin
Director of Church Relationships, LICC

*For more on this painting, and ways to share the gospel in pandemic times, see this video and podcast with my colleague, Dave Benson.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Appreciated article and play on the word “survey” to “convey”.

    By Colin Stephenson  -  2 Apr 2021
  2. Thank you Ben; the Cross is the apogee and nemesis of all suffering.
    As you so poignantly remind us, Grunewald’s painting reveals that Jesus understands and shares our sufferings and Isaiah 53 proclaims that ‘by His wounds we are healed’

    By Peter Riley  -  2 Apr 2021
  3. Wonderful, thank you. My Good Friday poem:

    Good Friday: its meaning has tended to fade
    In our world been forsaken, neglected, mislaid
    We have some inkling of Jesus, he died
    For ‘the faithful’, their faith now a fast ebbing tide
    What if we found though, and fresh understood
    That Jesus, like none else, was radiant and good
    That somehow he soaked up our rage, sin and pain
    To lead us to God; could it move us again?

    By Bruce Gulland  -  2 Apr 2021
  4. Read this late. Strong and good for any day message. Thank you

    By Jillii  -  14 Apr 2021

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