Voting seems very much on the agenda at the moment with whether you voted for (or against) Brexit, whether America Votes Trump or Hilary?
I as thinking about how we use and see crosses in our culture… Here are a few thoughts.
Whether Teresa May has a mandate to govern or not?
Will anyone vote for Jeremy Corbyn, is he electable?
Voting is about our choice of who is in power over us? -Where do we place our cross?
The cross in electorial terms is asking who do we want to be in charge, where are we choosing to let power and authority rest?
For the Christian the cross says of our choice to allow the risen Christ to not be our Saviour, but our Lord too.
The Cross says that Jesus is in charge and we are no longer the leader of our lives.
Yet the cross, is not just a symbol of where we choose to place power, it also has become a symbol of love, we end our messages to loved ones with the cross, as a kiss.
Christians aren’t just called to be subjects of Christ, but “I know longer call you slaves, for a slave does not know his Masters business, instead I call you friends”.
Many people are obedient for so many reason, fear or duty perhaps, but our obedience to Christ isn’t for either of these reasons but rather out of our love for him flows our obedience to him. We obey him because we love him, living as Andy Hawthrone described it “living in such a way that makes Jesus smile” -living in a way that pleases and brings joy to God’s heart.
Yet the Cross in our world also speaks of things that are wrong, I used to make the old joke that my Maths teacher loved me because she put kisses all over my work!
The cross says that something has gone wrong, it’s not right, in fact there is a big cross over our world, we all know that the world is not how it should, and we ourselves are not as we should be, where things are wrong in both the big picture and the smaller detail too. It’s not how it should be. For me, the Christian world view makes sense of the world, it is a wonderful and beautiful world, but people have turned form God, causing us to fall out of relationship with God, the world and each other… sin has entered in a caused a barrier between us and God, something we have all done, and the cost of that sin is fatal, resulting in death…
Yet the Cross speakers more than just to point out wrong doing and fallen-ness in our world, for the Cross is primarily both for Christians and even with organisations like the red cross, a symbol of rescue and of hope.
The Cross on which Jesus died, rescued us from sin and death, setting us free from all that imprisons us and keeps us from the arms of our loving heavenly father. The Cross speaks of victory and liberation for the world, where Satan does not get the world, nor does sin, pain, injust but rather the God who made it all has spoken the word of forgiveness and redemption, restoration and transformation into his world through the death and resurrection.
The Cross to is an Algebraic formula for the unknown, X is the problem that needs solving, X is where the treasure is on a pirates map. Yet the cross speaks of the unknown God being known in the person and face of Jesus Christ. The treasure of the world, that pearl of great price.
The world knows that there must be an answer to the big questions, yet the don’t know, or at least haven’t been able to work out that the unknown factor is God himself, Jesus Christ.
The world is searching for treasure of what is of real value, looking for this treasure in all sorts of places, and yet again the cross marks the spot, the treasure of this world is, as John says in the book of revelation, The Lamb who was slain -Jesus Christ himself.
I live and work in a place called Kingswood.
I’m a Vicar here.
The name “Kingswood” sometimes makes people think…
I’ve heard people talk and pray around this and have heard people say about “Kingswood” bring “The Kings Wood”, as in an area belonging to the King, and the Kings is Jesus.
Alongside words about the Kingswood or ‘the Kings Wood’ I’ve heard people talk about Psalm 1, with the idea of Christians being people who are fruitful and obedient with their roots drawing downing into the river.
I’ve also heard people talk about “Oaks of Righteousness” (Is. 61), this particular passage has been deeply significant for us who have been praying into Kingswood for a long time.
Yet my friend Jackie heard someone else talk about “The Kings Wood” and she described the ‘Wood of the King’ for the Christian is actually the Cross of Christ… Our Kings Wood, is the cross on which he died for us.
One of the websites that tries to connect people with what is happening in Kingswood is called http://www.mykingswood.co.uk/ yet ultimately we connected by the King who reigns on high and yet stooped down low to suffer and die for us.
So every time we think of what the call of Christ is and what he is saying for this area we have the reminder that Christ died for the people of this area (as well as the whole world), lets embrace the cross of Christ, his death and resurrection.
His cross which shows us how to minister to this area, a call of sacrifice, surrender and service, it’s ultimate about love and dying to self.
The true King of Kingswood died for his people on the cross of execution.