“Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:30-32
Today is Good Friday and we are reminded of the three crosses on Calvary. As I was beginning to write this message I was reminded of the three crosses in the attached photo that I use daily and weekly and what a coincidence it is to have these three.
The cross on the left was given to me by a lay Pastor in Port-au-Prince and I wear it to Church weekly. The Lutheran rosary in the center was purchased from a Lutheran nunnery just west of Phoenix and I hold it while praying in my bedroom. And the cross on the right was purchased from The Cross Makers in Seward, NE and I hold it while praying morning prayers in my living room.
I don’t need to hold a cross to pray but I am a sinner and get distracted and while they bring me no special magic or power to my prayer, they do help me focus. Luther instructed us to fold our hands. Clinging to a cross is just one more reason to draw closer to Jesus and pushes my mind further away from the evil foe. Today, Good Friday, may you, 24,000 young Haitian missionaries and me be brought closer to the Cross of Christ and be reminded of what that means for each of us; sins forgiven and eternal life. I am closing today with words from the hymn ‘Drawn to the Cross, which Thou hast Blest’ that were written by Genevieve M. Irons in 1855.
“Drawn to the Cross, which Thou hast blest with healing gifts for souls distrest, to find in Thee my life, my rest; Christ Crucified, I come. Thou knowest all my griefs and fears, Thy grace abused, my misspent years; yet now to Thee with contrite tears; Christ Crucified, I come. Wash me and take away each stain; let nothing of my sin remain. For cleansing, though it be through pain; Christ Crucified, I come. And then for work to do for Thee, which shall so sweet a service be that angels well might envy me; Christ Crucified, I come.”
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay