He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again. (2 Corinthians 1:10 NRSV)

I remember reading about an unusual cross that stood one Lenten season in Dallas on the lawn of a local church. The cross, which was more than ten feet high, stirred a lot of controversy within the congregation and the city. Pictures of it were carried by newspapers across the country and by many television stations. This ugly cross was made of weapons of crime and violence, most of which had been confiscated by Dallas police. There were guns and pistols and knives and bayonets and bullets and bombs and broken bottles. The cross rose out of the remains of an automobile that had been smashed almost flat in a traffic accident. The base was surrounded by barbed-wire entanglements like those surrounding a prison.

It was not easy to look upon this cross of violence, and many people hated the sight of it. There were petitions to have it removed. There were cries that the ugly cross was a sacrilege and desecration. One pastor commented, "The reaction was understandable: we do not like to be reminded of the suffering of God for our sin."

We need to talk about the cross that nobody wants to see. Not the cross of guns and pistols and knives and bayonets and bullets and bombs and broken bottles. But the cross of pain and love and, ultimately, hope.


Lord Jesus, in the troubles of my life, please bring me hope. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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