Junes Jottings 

Mar 2021
I’m not sure we think about the cross much as Christians.
Yes we mention it, yes we know that Jesus died on it, yes we take communion to give thanks for it, we even wear it as a little symbol around our
neck sometimes; but we then (quite understandably) skip to the resurrection, the symbol of hope, the moment that changed the world, when Jesus
was vindicated, the ‘happy ending’.
And so, through our lent course, we are being encouraged to look squarely
at the cross. To look at Jesus, not to turn our faces away in horror and disgust, but to really look at what our Lord and Saviour did for us. What he
did for me.
And each week we are encouraged to reflect on an aspect of the cross –
that as Jesus walked the Via Dolorosa, he carried not just the cross beam
to which he would be nailed, but he also carried the disappointments of his
followers who thought it was all over, that hope was lost, that this man who
they had given everything up to follow was now just another revolutionary
with great ideas being led to a senseless death.
He carried the hopes of God, the hope that this selfless act would bring
about reconciliation to the whole of his creation. As people we make it
about us, and it IS about us – the old saying that ‘if you were the only person in the world, Jesus would still have died for you’ is absolutely true! but
the hopes of God are so much bigger – reconciliation and redemption for
the whole of fallen, broken creation.
He carried our sorrows, our burdens, our worries, the things that are too
heavy for us to carry – and yet we still try, or at least I do. I was reminded
recently of the sketch, its a bit of a cliche – but that’s because it is so very
true – in the sketch a man comes to the cross carrying heavy bags and
suitcases, and rucksacks. He is so overloaded and the bags are so heavy
he can barely walk. As he prays each bag, each weight is laid down and
he begins to stand up straight, released from the heavy burdens of worry
and helplessness he carries. He stays there for a while, and then as
he prepares to move away he slowly picks up every single bag again
and takes them with him. Oh church, how do we learn to leave our
heavy burdens at the cross, how do we learn to give them to Jesus
and not insist on carrying them around ourselves? Worries for our
families, our children, our husbands and wives, our jobs, our homes,
looming deadlines, heavy workloads… Jesus carried them all, if we
let him.
He carried my sin and my shame – 2000 years before I was even
born, Jesus carried to the cross all of the things that I would ever do
wrong! Everything. All of it. And not just me. Every evil that human
beings are capable of doing to each other. He knew, he forgave, he
carried to the cross.
And it is this, and so much more, that we are looking at squarely
through our lent course. And as we come and stand at the foot of the
cross, and look into the eyes of Christ, we receive love, and forgiveness, and mercy and grace.
And so this lent course is spurring me on, to live in that mercy and
grace and forgiveness. To live a life of gratitude, to not hurry away
from what Jesus did for me.
It is Lent. It is a time of reflection. A time when we set our faces towards the cross, however horrible, however much we might want to
turn away, however much we might want to dash on to the happy
ending. It won’t always be pleasant, it will always be wonderful, it will
always be worth it.
It isn’t too late to join us, we meet every Wednesday on zoom at 8pm,
why not come and stand with us as we with trembling grateful hearts
reflect again on our awesome Saviour and all that he carried to the
cross so that we can be free.

He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them his very own;
He bore the burden to Calvary,
And suffered and died alone.
How marvellous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvellous! How wonderful
Is my Saviour’s love for me!