Quick. Go look at the nearest cross that you may have in your office or at home. I’ll wait.
Did you go check?
If your cross is anything like mine that is sitting on a bookshelf in my office, it’s probably nicely polished, neat and very clean cut.
Don’t you think, often times, that we sort of project that kind of Christianity to people? The Christianity that is nicely polished, very clean, very neat… very.. safe? Or maybe that’s the kind of Christianity that our parishioners want to hear about.
But, there’s nothing neat and polished about the cross. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that the actual cross that Jesus was crucified on was nothing like the ones that we see hanging in our homes, offices, necks, cars, etc. (On top of that, I don’t see Romans making their instrument of death looking so nice and neat.)
Nothing about the cross is nice, neat, polished, and/or clean. The cross isn’t an easy thing to bear/carry. And I think we sometimes make the mistake of leading people to believe that the cross is something simple to carry.
There’s nothing safe about the cross and there’s nothing safe about following Jesus.
I need to go find me a rugged cross, to remind me that bearing the cross can be rugged, dangerous, messy and, well at times, hard as hell. But that God is with me with each step I take.