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The Cross

Whilst looking for something to write for Easter I came across this short piece by Max Lucado…..

The Cross. Can you turn any direction without seeing one? Perched a top a church. Carved into a graveyard headstone. Engraved in a ring or suspended on a chain. The cross is the universal symbol of Christianity. An odd choice, don’t you think? Strange that a tool of torture would come to embody a movement of hope. The symbols of other faiths are more upbeat: the six-pointed star of David, the crescent moon of Islam, a lotus blossom for Buddhism. Yet a cross for Christianity? An instrument of execution?

Would you wear a tiny electric chair around your neck? Suspend a gold-plated hangman’s noose on the wall? Would you print a picture of a firing squad on a business card? Yet we do so with the cross. Many even make the sign of the cross as they pray. Would we make the sign of, say, a guillotine? Instead of the triangular touch on the forehead and shoulders, how about a karate chop on the palm? Doesn’t quite have the same feel, does it? Why is the cross the symbol of our faith?

To find the answer look no farther than the cross itself. Its design couldn’t be simpler. One beam horizontal - the other vertical. One reaches out like God's love; the other reaches up, as does God’s holiness. One represents the width of his love; the other reflects the height of his holiness. The cross is the intersection. The cross is where God forgave his children, where earth and heaven, God and Humanity, meet.

How could he do this? God drew all to himself by the pain and suffering of the Cross; he took evil and transformed it, by service; he took pain and transformed it, by strength; he took defeat and transformed it by love. “God put on him the wrong, who never did any wrong, so we could be put right with God” (2 Cor. 5:21 MSG)

“Grant O Lord, that in your wounds I may find my safety, in your striped back my cure, in your pain my peace, in your Cross my victory, in your Resurrection my triumph, and in your thorned crown the glory of Heaven. Amen.”

His name was Fleming

His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved. 'I want to repay you,' said the nobleman. 'You saved my son's life.' 'No, I can't accept payment for what I did,' the Scottish farmer replied waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel. 'Is that your son?' the nobleman asked. 'Yes,' the farmer replied proudly. 'I'll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my own son will enjoy If the lad is anything like his father, he'll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of.' And that he did.

Farmer Fleming's son attended the very best schools and in time, graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin. Years afterward, the same nobleman's son who was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia. What saved his life this time? Penicillin.

The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill .. His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill. Someone once said: What goes around comes around.

From the Church Registers

23rd FebruaryThe Reverend Canon Lord Pilkington of Oxenfordfuneral service at the Minsterburial at Moolham churchyard
4th MarchRichard Hastie, formerly of PuckingtonBuried in the church-yard after a funeral service at High Ham
church/vicars_letters/apr2011mag.txt · Last modified: d/m/Y H:M (external edit)