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Pastor's Piece:

Have any of you noticed that the cross in front of the church has fallen? It fell a few months ago and is now resting on the ground. Its absence may not be as obvious until now with the arrival of Ash Wednesday and Lent. Several years ago Nelson Burgos made the cross for our congregation. Annually we drape it in a purple cloth, then briefly in black and then finally in white to celebrate Jesus’ Easter resurrection. For the first few years the cross would be erected during the season of Lent, and removed after the 50 days of Easter. At some point it was decided to leave the cross front and center throughout the entire year. I was grateful when that decision was made, and I’ve missed the cross’ presence in front of our property since it has fallen.

I wish that I could raise the cross again. I regret my lack of mechanical ability. Perhaps it would not be as hard as I imagine to establish a good base once more for this old, rugged symbol of divine grace and return it to its former place of prominence. In real terms lifting the cross is something that we cannot do for ourselves. It is the central ac- tion that Jesus completed. He lifted the cross and carried the weight of a fallen world on His broad shoulders. Jesus’ action is the reason the cross now holds so much hope and meaning for us as His followers. The cross is God’s great sign that His love always has and will rule this world.

Are we able to lift high the cross and proclaim the love of Christ in word and deed? The focus on the cross in Lent centers us again on this essential message of God’s love for us and for all the world. One of the themes of Lent is repentance. It is a discipline that directs us to “return to the Lord.” For some of us that may mean more participation in corporate worship, group Bible study or personal prayer. For others it may encourage that we do less for ourselves and focus more on the needs of our neighbors. Lent is a important time because it takes us back to basics in our Christian faith. It provides focused space for us to more fully see Jesus Christ, and to remember that there is no fall that sin and death can cause that will keep us from His unconditional love and grace. It is a “spring training experience” in our life

- Pastor John Holliday

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