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“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18

The Cross. A powerful symbol. And in recent years the Cross has become quite controversial. I’ve lamented in the past at the growing number of churches that do not display a cross on their buildings. I’ve also shared my growing excitement at the number of large crosses placed near highways. Even as the church seems to be growing colder and colder, there are still numbers of people committed to the Cross as an expression of their faith. It reminds me of Elijah telling G-d, “Hey, I’m that last of the good guys here, and they want to kill me!” Pardon my paraphrasing. How did G-d reply? Yup. Elijah isn’t alone, there are true-born followers of G-d, hidden, cared for. . .

But in all this, do you ever wonder why we seem to be the losers here? When Paul tells of his successes he always says he was persecuted, beaten, rejected. And all for he cause of preaching the cross. In order to move on, to live in this world, there is a constant battle engaging the human senses. There are distractions. We seem to get beat down and begin to lose our hope. And often it comes in the form of an offer for help.

The other day a man took his son to the doctor. The boy complained of an ear ache, which the doctor said was only congestion. What the doctor did then was to tell the father and son all about a particular series of shots that will prevent a sexually transmitted disease. Among the various statistics that the doctor cited was one that said without the shots there was a 70% chance of contracting cancer or other nasty diseases related this human papillomavirus (HPV). The doctor said that even if the boy were to actually find a virgin to marry, the chance the girl was free of HPV was very slim. No hope in this world. No hope for a virus-free girl. No hope.

Our hope is in the Lord Y’shuaJesus. We are the losers of this world. We don’t go along with the world. We really don’t fit in it. The world doesn’t like that, either. The world doesn’t like the Cross, for it is a powerful symbol of resurrection from the dead, of life after death to G-d’s people, to G-d’s chosen ones. Paul says the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. They are dying. The will stay eternally out of the presence of G-d the Father, Y’shuaJesus, Holy Spirit. To us, the true-born believers, the saved, the Cross is the power of G-d to redeem our lives, to give us crowns of His Joy and His Peace. And this happens in His time.

Does that mean there is no hope during our lives on Earth? I think with our hope in our Lord, with our relationship with Him, we have struggles and temptations and trouble, yes, but we certainly also have blessings from Him. We are to seek first the Kingdom of G-d. Then let G-d’s Kingdom bless us.

Lord, have mercy upon us! Amen.

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .