Blue spring flowers on the Cathedral grounds

Today’s Gospel: Mark 15:21-39

Did you know it took three hundred years for the cross to become the recognized symbol of Christianity? In the early Church, the cross was a means of horrible torture and death, still very much in use as a method of state execution. Jesus had been nailed to a cross, and the first Christians saw it as the ancient equivalent of the electric chair or the gallows. As C.S. Lewis once said, “the crucifixion did not become common in art until all who had seen a real one died off.”

On Golgotha, God picked up the shattered pieces of a human life and made something holy out of them. He took an instrument of death and turned it inside out so that now the cross is the most powerful symbol of life. It is now a symbol of eternal life born out of Christ’s willingness to sacrifice himself, even to the point of death. The good news for you and me is that our Lord is still doing the same thing for all of us. Because of Jesus on the cross, our shattered lives can also be made into something holy. Because of Jesus on the cross, the greatest suffering we will ever know in life he has already known. Because of Jesus on the cross, our sins can be forgiven and our lives redeemed. Christ the crucified is here to take the full weight of the world upon his shoulders, to hang there, bleed, and gasp his last—all for us, all for our salvation. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. Amen.



“O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded”

by Paul Gerhardt (verses 3&4)

In thy most bitter passion
My heart to share doth cry,
With thee for my salvation
Upon the cross to die.
Ah, keep my heart thus moved
To stand thy cross beneath,

To mourn thee, well-beloved,
Yet thank thee for thy death.

What language shall I borrow
To thank thee, dearest friend,
For this thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
Oh, make me thine for ever!
And should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
Outlive my love for thee. Amen