Sunday, April 08, 2007

What Does the Cross Mean To You

Jesus is risen, He is alive! Our Easter service today was focused on the theme, "What does the Cross Mean to you?" Not in the "everyone share pooled ignorance, small groupey kinda' way" but in the "look at how many layers, dimensions and facets the cross presents." The actual story of what happened in the death, burial and resurrection can be told fairly quickly with little nuance. But, the depth of meaning that lies at the foot of the cross will be explored forever more. As long as people experience redemption there is a story to tell. Four baptisms today mean that four new stories emerge right out of our church in one morning. And who knows how many other people dealt with God one on one during this time and began the rewriting of their story.

Steven did a fabulous job of highlighting some different facets of the cross today. He started several weeks ago by setting up a blog on our website for people to respond to the question. That began the process of hearing different voices from within our faith community. Today, those blog comments flashed across the screens. One could get a glimpse at how different people responded. Our time of worship was focused around four different people who gave their testimony and it was clear that the cross meant different things to these four people. Freedom. Comfort. Empowerment. Reassurance. He also had a couple of our artists display pieces they had created that reflected how they interpret the cross. He began the morning by reading a piece written by one of our key youth workers which in all honestly explained this person's hostility toward the cross as it seems like a burden of guilt that can never be repaid instead of a life-giving symbol of joy. I so appreciated the doubt and raw honesty being expressed in this writing and that it was shared in worship and not having it sugar coated or sanitized.
All the different elements were not simply for creative impact on Easter Sunday. It was so much more. A visual, tangible, experiential moment to see that the Cross stands in the middle of all our faith walks and the gospel meets us where we are and Jesus transforms us in the ways we need. Powerful.


Kristen said...

Sounds like a great service! :)
WOW! Sounds like Steven put a lot of time in to and it turned out great! Hope all is well with you guys.
Since we talked to you, we are going to Richland Hills Sat. night instrumental service and love it! We have been going for about 1 1/2 months now. It was weird to go to Easter service on Sat night...that was our first! :)
Have a great week!
Kristen Cooper

susan said...

Arlene, I am laughing hysterically about your question re: the term "blows goats"! Actually, I have picked up quite a bit of military lingo from when Lon was in the Army and I think that is where the term originated. If something "blows goats" that means that you really don't like it, it stinks or to be more crude... it sucks. i.e. "Having a colonoscopy really blows goats!" "Having a snowstorm on Easter blows goats" Make sense? There are a few more military terms that I could hip you to, but not on a public blog. (We'll have to go to lunch again sometime and I can fill you in. :-)

susan said...

Arlene, next week sounds great. Any day but Wednesday, just let me know what works for you.