Cross or Crucifix?

myCross If you’ve been following this blog long enough, you may recall something I posted a few years ago about the wooden crosses I used to make by hand. If you’re interested, you can find that post HERE.

The process was tedious, especially using sandpaper to shape each cross after using a coping saw to cut the small piece of wood into a very rough lower case t-shape. But I loved doing it and would probably still be doing it except for the fact it got to be too rough on these aging hands.

I quit making walking sticks for the same reason. I needed (and still need) my hands for other things. Like playing guitar and bass. And keying new novel manuscripts into my laptop.

As a Christian, I’ve long understood the significance of wearing a cross, even though a number of people probably wear them because they simply like the shape. I wouldn’t put it past some people to wear a cross superstitiously–as a good luck charm.

Hmm. Sad.

The cross is an important Christian symbol because it reminds us of Jesus’s crucifixion. I’ve read recently that the Romans didn’t invent crucifixion, but took it to a new level of cruelty. Anyone who watched The Passion of Christ or the ninth episode of The Bible miniseries (or was it the eighth?) got a too-realistic depiction of the way Jesus suffered and died.

One thing I’ve become more aware of over the years is the importance of the crucifix to Roman Catholics. A crucifix, as most of you know, depicts Christ hanging on the cross. I honestly don’t know whether He’s dead yet. There’s something to be said for a reminder of the horrible way Jesus suffered and died to accomplish God’s mission of bringing salvation to mankind.

You may not be aware of this, but Protestants and Evangelicals don’t generally wear crucifixes or value them the way Roman Catholics do.  They prefer to emphasize an empty cross because Jesus’s death as payment for the sins of mankind was only half of His mission. He also came to give eternal life, and the depiction of His death on the cross fails to tell “the rest of the story.”

So a regular cross–an empty one–is a reminder that Jesus’s mission didn’t end there. He had to be taken down and placed in a borrowed tomb. It wasn’t until three days later when the stone sealing the tomb was found removed on the third day and angels announced His resurrection that Jesus began appearing to His followers. Alive again. Human death had been conquered, and the second part of His mission was complete. His Believers now had the assurance of eternal life.

I’ve never seen a necklace depicting an empty tomb. I can’t imagine what one would look like. But the empty cross  and the empty tomb go together like hand in glove.

I have every respect for Believers who prefer to wear a crucifix. Especially if they understand and believe in the whole story.

What about you? Are you a cross wearer or a crucifix wearer? What does it signify to you? How about leaving a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

Crosses–More than Jewelry

myCross     crossKathleenHappy     myDove

For many years I enjoyed making wooden crosses and doves by hand. I quit making them a few years ago, just as I quit making walking sticks. The effort was just too hard on my hands.

After drawing a rough shape on a ½” thick piece of wood, I cut as close to the design with a coping saw as I could. Before I did further shaping, I drilled a hole for the leather lace to go through; that way, if the wood cracked or I messed up the hole, I didn’t waste time doing more.

Next, I used very coarse sandpaper to get rid of the excess, which could take anywhere from one to two hours. The final shape was never the same.

I smoothed it with fine sandpaper. Sometimes I finished my project with a coat of polyurethane—I did that for all of the doves—but sometimes I rubbed my own skin oils into the wood of the crosses. That sounds a little weird, but it gave the crosses a unique finish.

I usually gave the cross or dove to somebody who had admired the ones I wore.

My wife has been wearing the same cross for more than ten years. Only rarely does she wear another necklace rather than the wooden one that means so much to her.

That brings up an important point. There’s no telling how many people wear cross jewelry simply because they like it—without necessarily being Christians or having any understanding of the significance of a cross.

To those people, I sing part of this song I wrote in 1999:

I wear this cross upon my neck to tell how God loves me.
I wear this cross upon my neck to show I love Him, too.
I wear this cross upon my neck to say that God loves you,
For His Son rose from death to give us life
When we trust in Him.

Have a blessed Easter.

<>

Please leave a comment if something in this post has spoken to you. I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

By the way, “On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I use “As I Come Singing”—check it out here—to post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. Check here to see the list.

Best regards,
Roger