Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pondering Images of the Cross I

I'll be posting some cross images until Resurrection Day. Perhaps one each day.

Mark 8:34 Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.

Someone once told me that her personal cross was her family situaion, and she asked (rather piously), "What is your cross to bear?" The only answer to that question is "Me." We put crosses on our walls, wear them around our necks, post them on blogs. :-) But would you wear a hangman's noose or small silver electric chair around your neck? We forgot that the cross was a hated image to the disciples. It was a symbol of death. Jesus was not saying "Come and follow me and carry your sickness, your husband, your poverty, your ________ and it will keep you humble." He was saying, "Come and die with me."

6 comments:

Jeni said...

Hmmm - now this is a "heavy" topic here. First off, what would be considered a "cross" to bear by some is often to others regarded as a blessing -sometimes in disguise but a blessing nonetheless. Kind of a "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" type thing, in my opinion. I think we all have something that depending on how we chose to deal with that item, we might regard it as a "cross" of sorts. But Did Christ really say "Come and die with me" or maybe it would or could be said he asks us to "come live" with Him and through His death for us, we live.

Singing Owl said...

Well, think of it this way. If he said to you, "Take the noose..." he'd mean you were going to die. I didn't mean that he was saying they were all going to be martyred (though that happened, from what we know). I think he was speaking metaphorically. Like St. Paul said, "I die daily, that I might live..." It is a death to my old life, my old ambitions, my old expectations, and so much more. We are new creations, and that doesn't happen without death. The question is, "Death to what? Death to me. Not necessarily physically, though I must be willing to go that far if I must, but death to my old nature.

Anonymous said...

Wow! it is so easy to forget that or even overlook it. We do need to die daily and leave our old way behind. It is so easy to pick up old habbits. I think about the cross a lot too. In the Catholic church, Jesus is always pictured as still suffering on it. When I see a cross without Jesus on it, it is so exciting to me. It reminds me that He is alive and sitting at the right and at the father and I think about all the promises that He gave to me on that resurrection day. That is why I wear one around my neck, but I totally get what you are saying. I guess it can also be a reminder that we need to die to oursleves so that He can live in and through us. Kelly

Singing Owl said...

Right. I'm not thinking that we should notwear a cross, just that we forget that it is a symbol of dying.

It's funny...depending on what we grew up with perhaps, we might see things in different ways. You are joyful seeing the empty cross, and when I go to St. Norberts for the retreats, I sometimes ponder the little crucifix on the wall. In my earlier years I never saw a cross with Jesus on it.

I am so glad you will be going with us when we go there, BTW.
:-)

chartreuseova said...

We have a crucifix hanging in our home. I believe it originally belonged to my husband's grandmother.

Growing up with Protestant crosses, it was easy for me to gloss over Jesus' death on the cross. It is an uncomfortable concept that someone would die for me. Undeserving. Such Love. Looking upon Jesus' body on the cross makes his suffering more real and has made the empty tomb even more powerful to me.

much2ponder said...

You have said these words in the past, but they are a good reminder of how we need to look at the cross. I am finding myself a little sad today, missing Him I think.