Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Rolling Cross

Not really sure what I saw I took a second look. What caught my attention was what seemed to be a person in a long white dress. As I turned momentarily from the highway in front of me to see what I saw out of the corner of my eye, I realized the white dress billowing in the wind was really a white robe. Alongside the white robed man were two other folks who were helping him get under the rather large wooden cross. In the space of those quick seconds, I thought, "Ah, someone is carrying a cross along the road." It is not a particularly unheard of thing. After all, it is Holy Week and Good Friday is coming. Just as I was turning my attention back to my driving, I saw it. At the bottom of the cross where it might be dropped into the ground there was a wheel. The guy was not really going to be carrying the cross, or dragging it. He was going to be rolling it. It was not the old rugged cross, but the rolling cross.
Now I am sure it was still a bit of an ordeal to manhandle that large wooden cross along the side of the road. The wheel might have made it easier, but it was still a task which would surely make the Jesus impersonator weary and worn. It was a warm windy afternoon and rolling that thing along for any amount of time would be a hot sweaty task. It might have been mimicking the suffering of Jesus, but still it was a long way from experiencing the suffering of Jesus.
The truth is we much prefer a rolling cross. It looks like the real thing, but is not even close. Jesus once spoke to His disciples about "taking up a cross." A cross was an instrument of death. To take up a cross means denying self to the point that we count our life something of no value unless it is useful for the purposes of God. Taking up a cross as Jesus talked about it is messy, painful, and results in a death. While it may not be the death that takes away our breath, it is the death that takes away the right to self. It is no wonder some folks sing, "I will cling to the rolling cross..."

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