March 22, 2016

Cross = _________

"When I see that cross, I see freedom.
When I see that grave, I'll see Jesus.
And from death to life, I will sing your praise
In the wonder of your grace."

{: lyrics from Grace to Grace by Hillsong Worship:}

My church is known for it's Easter 'Cross Equals Love' campaign. Signs, like the one below, are posted in towns and cities literally across the globe. All in the hopes and prayers that it will spark something, something that they haven't felt in awhile and it will lead them to a local church this Sunday to encounter the love of God.

Yesterday in chapel, our Vice Principal shared a message titled "Cross = _______". 
He was talking about this "gift" we are sharing {:the gift being the Gospel:}, and asked us the question: "Is it a regift? Or, is it one of those gifts we cannot wait to share? 
You see, Cross Equals Love is a powerful statement, but what does that heart symbolize in your own life? How has the Gospel become more than your parent's faith or your mentor's testimony of God's goodness? What fills in the blank for you personally? 

The word that fills in the blank, is they tangible way God's love is/was made real to you. It is that moment or season that changed everything. It is when the Gospel went from words in an old book, to your personal, triumphant story. It become your redemption, your victory, your moment when you realized the rock at the bottom was actually Jesus. 

For me, Jesus filled in the blank through freedom - freedom from my sin, freedom from my past, freedom from my people pleasing obsession, freedom from my insecurities, freedom from defeat. But most of all, freedom from myself. And now the Gospel I carry and 'gift' to people, is one of freedom, because it is my story. It is my testimony. It is the way Jesus expressed His love in a personal way to me. 
Don't let this Sunday and Easter weekend pass with all the pomp and circumstance that holidays can entail, between eating 6 different Easter meals with families, without taking a few moments to reflect on the gift of the Gospel, you are giving to people. 

This weekend the Gospel will be presented amongst dazzling lights,  stunning dances, beautiful music, and poetic words but the potential is always the same. This 'gift' of the Gospel we present has the potential to change peoples eternity. It has the potential to erase the words the world has spoken over them and the opportunity for them to fill in the blank with words like: protection, courage, hope, forgiveness, fresh start. 

Some people may not step foot into a church building this weekend, but you are guaranteed to see tons of people over these next five days. You have a 'gift' to give. You presenting your story, your gift of how Jesus became your personal God, might cause someone to unwrap their own gift for the first time. Make sure you aren't just regifting someone else's Jesus encounter. 

What does the cross equal for you?
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