This is one of those weeks where a pastor has to admit to feeling a bit of heaviness in her heart. Many are hurting, grieving, struggling with illness or the illness of a loved one. All of that pain, like this morning’s weather, can feel dark, dreary, and heavy. It can weigh on a person, and make you wonder when things will get easier for people, or where to find a little light or hope.
It may seem strange to write this, but that light or hope is the cross. This weekend we will be honoring Holy Cross Day as we recall Christ’s suffering and death on the cross, and his resurrection on the third day following. And we give thanks for God’s redeeming work through the cross.
This cross—all crosses—were basically instruments of torture and execution. It was an excruciating and shameful way to die. It seems like it would make no sense for the cross to bring hope. (head’s up for this weekend’s sermon!) But by the cross, Jesus Christ has shown us that he knows and understands our suffering and pain. So that when we bring our tears, pain, and grief to the cross, he is there with us, reaching out.
Even beyond that, death on that cross was defeated. And by his death and rising, death, pain, sin , grief, and suffering have been beaten. By and in Christ, there is new life and all of those things (though they are very real) do not hold ultimate power over us.
As we ponder the cross this week, let us pray for one another. Pray that sufferings may cease, and healing will begin. Pray that God’s redeeming work through the cross be realized in all that we do. When we pray for one another, may we see that light and new life Christ has given to us when our world makes us feel beaten up, worn out, and heavy.