By Dwaine Powell
Everywhere you turn, the cross of Jesus Christ was there in Paul's life.
It was central in his teachings and it was the core of his life.
Nothing mattered more than the cross. When the Christians would gather
together, the cross of Jesus was there. And when they left, the cross
would follow them. Paul made us aware of the "beauty" of that cross.
What better way could you describe the love of God demonstrated, he
would tell the Christians in Rome. He also made us aware of the
challenge the cross brings to our lives. "I have been crucified with
Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in
the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and have
himself for me." (Galatians 2:20) This was the essence of his life, and
the essence fo life for all who cherish the old rugged cross.
However, it is alarming at how the cross of Jesus is not central to our
lives. I am not talking about our assembly. Our songs, our prayers, our
reflection around the Lord's Table, the messages that are brought, all
have the cross of Jesus in plain view. I'm talking about afterwards when
we leave and go our separate ways. Does the cross of Jesus follow you
home? Does it impact your marriage, your family, your relationship with
your roommates? Is the cross of Jesus present at your workplace? Is it
next to you in the classroom? How about on the lake, the golf course, or
the battlefield? Is the cross of Jesus central in your every day life?
Does it govern your thoughts? Does it shape your behavior? Are you
crucified with Christ? Like Paul, is the cross of Jesus Christ the
central core of your life?
If the cross is not present outside of our assembly, it is we who have
hauled it out of sight. It is we who must restore it to the central
place it deserves. The following piece by George MacLeod conveys a firm
conviction that, hopefully, you possess.
I simply argue that the cross be raised again
at the center of the market place
as well as on the steeple of the church,
I am recovering the claim that
Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral
between two candles,
But on a cross between two thieves;
on a town garbage heap;
at a crossroad of politics so cosmopolitan
that they had to write His title
in Hebrew and in Latin and in Greek ...
And at the kind of place where cynics talk smut,
and thieves curse and soldiers gamble.
Because that is where He died,
and that is what He died about.
And that is where Christ's men ought to be,
and what church people ought to be about.
The Friendly Visitor
, the weekly bulletin of the Auburn Church of Christ, Auburn, AL; June 5, 1997, p. 1.