Thursday, November 2, 2006

Hidden in the Cross

Have you ever heard a person pray for the minister before the sermon, "Lord, hide him in the cross"? In my case it's quite true.

This is my pulpit. It is, literally, a cross. (The lectern section is hidden from view, parallel to the crossbeam.) When people see me at the pulpit, they find me hidden in the cross.

There's no getting around it; we preach the unjust execution of the Son of God, his burial and his resurrection from the dead. As Wesley preaches in his Sermons, # 39, "Catholic Spirit":

"Dost thou believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, 'God over all, blessed for ever?' Is he revealed in thy soul? Dost thou know Jesus Christ and him crucified? Does he dwell in thee, and thou in him? Is he formed in thy heart by faith? having absolutely disclaimed all thy own works, thy own righteousness, hast thou 'submitted thyself unto the righteousness of God, which is by faith in Christ Jesus? Art thou 'found in him, not having thy own righteousness, but the righteousness which is by faith?' And art thou, through him, 'fighting the good fight of faith, and laying hold of eternal life?'"

If people are offended by it, that's not my concern. Yes, the gospel may be a stumbling block or foolishness to some [cf. 1 Cor 1.23]. I, as Paul, should not know anything among others, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. [cf. 1 Cor 2.2]