A Meditation on the Cross

Dear Friends:
Sometimes I read a passage that I have read 100 times but this time it comes “alive” during the present reading. Today this happened to me as I was reading of Christ washing the disciples feet, all the while knowing that Peter would soon deny Him, Judas would betray Him and the little flock of friends would be scattered when He was arrested at Gethsemane. Of course each of us feel betrayed and denied at times, but I am shocked (and embarrassed)  at how He treated those that “let Him down” and how I respond to folks that let me down! I have a long way to go on my own path.
But what was eye opening to me was my meditation upon the cross. Jesus, God in the flesh, allowed Himself to be stripped naked, nearly beaten to death and exhibited to laughter and insults on a cross!  The more I thought of that cross and what God knew He was doing, the more I realized, afresh, “against you and only you, have I sinned!”  God Almighty would suffer like that for me? Who am I to demand my petty “rights”?  Who am I to whine and complain about anything!?  I would dare anyone to have a vision of THAT cross —- Christ and God-in-the flesh suffering on that tree for our sins— and then go on to boast about anything except the favor and love of God!  The pathos of the cross is quite sobering.  Do we hear about it, preach about it and meditate upon it enough?
The Catholics are right to remember not only the empty cross but also an image of the one who suffered on that cross.
Please pray for me that I might be broken bread and poured out wine for those that come to the camp and that I might forget myself as I share His love to those that visit this winter and as I present our vision and dream of a holy haven to parents and youth.
Dean Barley

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