Friday, September 14, 2007
I remember a conversation some years ago with a good friend, a cradle Catholic who was struggling to find her own path to faith and to set aside a rather negative experience of gloom and guilt. It was late and we were getting weary when she burst out
"Can't Christianity just get rid of the cross".
Today, Holy Cross day, we're invited to celebrate it, to rejoice in all that it means to us, regardless of our understandings of atonement... to marvel that an instrument of death is transformed into the symbol of salvation and the route to eternal life.
Of course, when I'm trying to explain it to children it's easier to focus on what really matters...so I point out Christ's open armed invitation and then send the children round the church to count crosses and remember each time they see one that this is how much God loves them. St M's has a tiled floor with a design a bit like this, only in red and black...
so you'll guess where this is going.
I will never forget the small boy who came over after about 5 minutes and said
"But Kathryn, I've lost count...I got up to more than 500 crosses and there are hundreds and hundreds wherever I look. Is that really how much God loves me?"
There's only one answer
"Yes...and more. Thanks be to God."