Saturday, February 2, 2008

At the Cross

If you have been one of the few who have followed this blog's account of the highway construction and the heritage tree at India Hook late last year, here is an update on the progress made so far. The tree has been sent to a sawmill and then to a woodworker for the final work. We are scheduled to meet with the woodworker as well as the folks who are helping us install the cross next week. The preliminary plan is that the cross will be 10 feet tall and 5 feet wide, made of 8 inch beams from the heritage tree. It will weigh 300 to 400 pounds. Installation and securing it properly are very high on my list, since I will be preaching under it week to week. We may also put newer lighting in the sanctuary that will not obscure the view of the cross. A diverse group from the church will plan and implement the final decision. If all goes according to plan, we will dedicate the Cannon Heritage Cross on March 16th, Palm Sunday.

The presence of the cross will change the focus of India Hook's worship space. With the clear glass in the areas around and above the pulpit, the eye is currently drawn upward to the beauty of creation beyond the glass. The cross will hang from the rafters in the ceiling, high above the Pulpit and the Table. The cross will be a focus in the foreground, and creation will be viewed in light of that huge cross.

Although the dedication will be the last Sunday of Lent, my Lenten reflections seem to be pointed to the cross of Christ and especially the hymns that speak of the cross. Much has been made of the method of torture known as the Cross especially in Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. My pondering as of late has more to do with what Christ was willing to do, rather than the brutality of humanity in that scene. It is a love that acted in spite of the awful brutality... a love that still goes to the cross for us today... even when we want to leave the horror of the death of Christ to "back then" and the Romans and the Jews.

Yes, there is much to ponder still. We ponder what it means for Christ to call us to pick up our cross and follow him. Our crosses are probably not like the one that will soon be found in India Hook's sanctuary, but ours are just as big and heavy, and also invisible to everyone but our own souls. Our crosses bear the name of fear, greed, shame or a multitude of other sins and brokenness.

Still pondering...

1 comment:

Stephen Taylor said...

Joseph, sounds like you guys are making excellent lemonade out of your highway construction lemons. And glad you don't shy away from preaching the cross, because of the cruelty and horror it brings to mind. Not that we revel in the gore (e.g. The Passion movie), but that we acknowledge the depths of our depravity Christ was willing to embrace for our redemption. I expect it to be a very good Lent for your folks.