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The Glory of the Cross

by The Rev Beth Knowlton on September 14, 2022

Today is the feast day of the Holy Cross, and probably one we are not accustomed to making in a significant way. And yet, it is a wonderful invitation to engage with the transforming power of our faith. Our faith invites us to imagine how it is that a symbol of death has been utterly transformed into a
sign of hope and life. It asks us to imagine how we are connected with one another and how we are connected with God and all creation. Depending on what tradition you were raised in, the cross might be a symbol that you struggle with. It may be that it only represents the stark grief of Good Friday. The horror and sacrifice of Jesus’ death is meant to confront us with the violence of that world, and indeed the world we look upon each and every day. 
 
But, the gift of resurrection is that Good Friday moment is not the end of the story. We are always moving through the cycle from death, to waiting in that most uncomfortable Holy
Saturday space, to the dawn of new life and resurrection. Where do you find yourself this day? I think imagining our own lives in that constant cycle of the paschal mystery allows the tyranny of our individual lives to be woven much more deeply into the story of the people of God. This assists us in overcoming our fear, invites us into relationship with community, and frees us to be more joyful. 
What a glorious Homecoming Sunday we had last week! It was a joyful time of reconnection for me personally, as well as the entire community. I was so grateful to be back, grateful for all that has happened, and looking forward to what is on the horizon. 
With full staffing, a building at the ready, and food in abundance, there are signs of new life everywhere! We may not have fully emerged from Holy Saturday, but I sense we are
ready to start exploring new life with one another and it is a joyful moment, three years after the scaffolding incident. Imagine ways in which you participate in this community life to support and live out your cruciform pattern of life as a Christian.  
 
We are looking forward to the chance to sing through the hymnal this Friday evening and all day Saturday. You can come and go as you like. On this feast of the Holy Cross, I’ll share the text from one of my favorite hymns, which so beautifully describes the paradox and joy we discover in our faith walk. It’s number 441 and 442. If you’re curious, my favorite is 442! 
 
In the cross of Christ I glory 
Towering o’er the wrecks of time; 
All the light of sacred story 
Gathers round its head sublime. 
 
When the woes of life overtake me, 
Hopes deceive and fears annoy, 
Never shall the cross forsake me. 
Lo! It glows with peace and joy. 
 
When the sun of bliss is beaming 
Light and love upon my way, 
From the cross the radiance streaming 
Adds more luster to the day. 

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