Friday, August 21, 2009

The Rose and the Cross

"You lived to die, rejected and alone. Like a Rose trampled on the ground, You took the fall and thought of me above all." Those words to the popular song "Above All" sparked significant meaning to me this past Sunday during Worship. Each day I look out my door and in my small yard is a very large metal cross. In front of the cross is a very small red rose bush. The story behind the cross began a couple of years ago when a young man named Daniel was killed in a car accident. The loss was great to the family and they wanted to memorialize Daniel by placing a cross at the scene of the accident. This particular cross came from the top of an old church building that was being torn down. It turned out that the family decided to reject this particular cross because of the sharp, jagged edges and protrusions around the screws that held it together at the base. That cross was replaced by a smoother, safer memorial. My husband and I were asked if we would like to have the former cross and I suppose just because it was a cross, we said, "Yes" and found what we considered a proper spot for it. You see, that young man was our nephew. For my recent birthday, my daughter gave me the small rose bush and it seemed a good thing to adorn the plain metal cross with the beautiful little rose. That is what led to the following inspirational thoughts. I Corinthians 1:18 "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." That particular metal cross was rejected because of the potential to cause harm to those who might take hold of it. How many people reject the cross because to them it would cause pain. It would, in their thinking, cause them to lose their life and the things of this world that they so enjoy. It might make them have to sacrifice themselves in some way... maybe go to a foreign country and become another Mother Teresa. Perhaps feeling that prick from the sharp edges bring conviction of their need for a Savior would make them run the other way. I think of ways I rejected the Cross of Jesus without even knowing it as I was growing up. One example was the time I scribbled over a note a Christian girl wrote in my yearbook about God. I was embarrassed for other friends to see it, even though I believed in God. A lot of the time that rejection can be intentional or because of a lack of understanding or revelation of the truth regarding the Cross. Even when we intentionally reject the Cross, its reality is not negated. The sharp edges and pain that it seems to cause are to bring us to the place of brokenness and repentance and confession. Then as we allow the Love of the Cross, Jesus, the one that was rejected, the Rose that was trampled for us, the edges become smooth and touchable. We embrace it. We come to love it back and want to sit at its feet and receive all it has for us because it was for us it was created.