The cross was meant for the worst enemies of Rome. Ugly, painful, shameful, torturous humiliation for all the world to see. And this, not the giving of gifts, not the hiding of eggs, not the message that obeying the Bible leads to wealth and power, this cross is the center of the Christian faith. In some mysterious way the path to everlasting life leads us on a trail through suffering and self-sacrifice, sacrifice for others, sacrifice for God.
This is Lent.
Our Lenten sacrifices must respect this truth, our repentance and prayers must be fervent and faithful. This is the time set aside to respect the sacrifice of Christ and make it real in our lives as we count the days to Good Friday and Easter.
In this time of self-reflection, we humbly ask that you spend some time considering your weakness. Not just human weakness, but your weakness. Every individual has at least something–a sickness, a dreadful moment in the past, a particular sadness–something that they carry with them, making their life a struggle. Perhaps you deny yours exists, you bury it or ignore it. This is the time to take it out and look directly at it in faith, for this is your cross.
Perhaps you think you are not “normal” because of this cross. Perhaps you think it is too overwhelming, Perhaps it makes you feel shameful or sorrowful or alone. Perhaps you think that you suffer more than the people around you, that you have so much more pain. Look straight at your cross this Lenten season, pray on it, study it, consider it from all angles.
Jesus knows you, and he knows all about suffering.
Not only does he know, but in some mysterious way it connects you to Him. The faith He founded is one where sacrifice and suffering are ingredient within it–the cross and what followed are at the end of a path we all must travel. We all have our cross.
This Lenten season deeply consider your greatest pain, then pick it up, and follow Him.