Sometimes we are all too willing to bear the symbol of something without considering the significance of it. To wear a cross; around your neck, on a t-shirt, on a bible cover, on any type of jewelry, as a visible declaration of our reverence to Christ does not by any means indicate an adherence to or understanding of its importance or consequence.
As I prepare for our family reunion this year, I think about the “family crest” that will be adorning the t-shirts everyone will be wearing. No doubt, all those who are in attendance will be wearing this t-shirt again, long after the reunion has ended. But, will the reason for this gathering resonate beyond its moment in time, or will the symbol lose its intended message like a Gideon Bible tucked away in a hotel night stand drawer?
This year, I took on the arduous task of coordinating our family reunion as the sole planner because I know how important it is for my father who is the oldest surviving patriarch of our family.
Sometimes, the things we are able to give to others doesn’t require much, only that which we are willing to give.
Because of this commitment, I have gained a new appreciation for family and the historical significance of our gathering on a regular basis as a sort of homage—a ceremonial acknowledgement of our bond and history.
Will I be able to convey the treasures uncovered on this excavation, or will the symbol of the “family crest” adorn their chest as a mere shadow of an identity, where they will not gain a true understanding of who they are and who they are expected to become because of it?
When I see people wearing the symbol of the “cross”, I wonder if they understand their responsibility in wearing it, or are they simply wearing it as an outward sign of adornment, not really understanding its significance or consequence.
In “The Case for Christ”, A Journalist’s Personal Investigation Into the Evidence for Jesus”, Lee Strobel (author) breaks down the intricate details of Jesus’ crucifixion on the cross. He also describes the journey Jesus took to the place where he would be crucified based on medical evidence.
When we gain a vivid picture of what actually occurred during this ordeal, the body’s reaction to psychological stress as a result of flogging (I will spare you the excruciating details), we gain a better understanding of what Jesus had to endure. This, my friend, indicates the significance.
The consequence lies in understanding this significance and being willing to take up your own cross, being willing to do what is required of you in carrying out God’s purpose
for your life, being willing to endure hard work, endure pain and suffering, loneliness, betrayal, misunderstanding and so many other things as needed. After all, isn’t that what Jesus endured? Isn’t that the example He set for us? Isn’t that what the “cross” represents?
As you consider your role in this life and how you carry out God’s plan for it, be sure that you are not only adorning the cross with pride through an understanding of its significance, but that you are willing to endure all that is necessary and that you gain all the strength you need to carry it out through true reliance on Him. (Luke 14:28-30).
I am proud to wear the cross as a symbol of God’s never-ending, unconditional love for me through the sacrifice He gave through His Son, Jesus Christ. I am also proud to wear the symbol of our “family crest” because you see, I have committed to understanding its significance. I wear them both proudly and un-apologetically with boldness beyond measure.
Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “Take up your cross and follow me.”
Seek to increase your knowledge in order to gain a better understanding of who you are, where you came from, how you arrived where you are and who you should acknowledge because of it. Most importantly, make sure that the symbols you wear are backed up with a pride that empowers you to wear your head held high and dare anyone to ask you what it means.