Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Bethany Bullet - September 9, 2014

Colossians 1:19 and the following support the historical observance of Holy Cross Day quite nicely with three thoughts; heir, bear, & share
V  Heir of God (co-heir of Christ the crucified),
V  Bear your cross and
V  Share the victory found in Jesus’ cross.

Heir of God – text: Col. 1:19ff “Christ has reconciled you to God by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross, to present you holy in his sight.”  You are holy, not because of anything you’ve done, but through what Christ has done for you in His cross.  You are an heir of God!  If life is good right now, what a blessing!  Do not forget for a moment however that all good gifts are from above and NO GREAT gift is there than that He has bestowed on you through Christ crucified!  Is your world rough? Does it seem as if life is one struggle and heart ache after another?  Do not doubt for a moment that God has lavished His love on you and His greatest treasures of forgiveness and eternal life belong to you NOW!  Need proof of that love, need certainty of that promise?  Look no further than the one upon the cross. 

Bear your cross – text: “As one declared Holy by Christ’s work on the cross bear the cross when it comes.”  Luther, who lived in the age of relics and pilgrimages said, “Every Christian has a bit of the cross.  For it has been distributed through the whole world, and to all who believe inevitably comes a portion of it.  Do not cast it aside, but take it up.”  Persecuted for righteousness sake have you been?  Continue to behave in a righteous way.  Perhaps you’ve never been and can’t imagine being assaulted for your faith.  What about insulted: ridiculed, mocked, laughed at, eyes rolled because of, belittled or berated?  Do not for a minute let go of the foolishness of the cross; embrace it boldly, for it is the wisdom of God that we bear.  

Share Christ’s victory – text:  “…so that all might be declared holy we teach and instruct everyone in what we know of Christ the crucified.”  The Luther quote continues – “every Christian has a bit of the cross, not to be kept in a case but carried in the heart, not in order to charge that one might profit, but to give away that all might receive it and the gifts it brings.” 

To rightly realize the Holiness of the Cross is to rejoice in the Holiness of the crucified and to recognize the Holiness of those who’ve been marked by His.   So to rightly celebrate Holy Cross Day might include starting where the journey of care following and carrying began, at Baptism.  So once again receive the sign of the cross (trace it yourself right now over heart, over head) and be marked again, o’ holy one, as one redeemed by Christ the crucified – O’ heir, go bear, and share!

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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