The Cross of Christ is Light to Me!
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“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame…”
The red neon cross shines at the very peak of Trinity Lutheran Church, Mount Angel, Oregon. The photo was taken on the night of Trinity’s 125th anniversary last November.
The cross was added to the church building as a memorial for a young woman who died in an auto accident in the 1950s. It stood as a beacon for miles in the countryside and greeted many a traveling motorist in the dead of the night.
But during a time of crisis and decline at Trinity the lighted cross fell into disrepair and stopped shining for many months. It appeared that the church might have to shut its doors. A darkness fell over the once vibrant congregation.
Through God’s intervention, the healing grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ reached into the hearts of Trinity’s discouraged members. As the congregation healed from conflict and rebirthed, the cross was repaired and once again shone through the night. With great emotion I declared to a joyful and growing congregation, “The cross shines once again. We again have found our way!” Not only the church members but the whole community rejoiced. The light of Jesus Christ again shone through the night!
I am reminded of the motto of my alma mater, Concordia University, Portland: “Christi Crux est mea Lux”, “The Cross of Christ is Light to me”. In the midst of discouragement, sin, grief, and even death, the light of our Lord Jesus Christ shines upon you and me, lighting our way. As the final verse of “Abide With Me” says so well;
“Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes,
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies,
Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee,
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.”
Lord Jesus, hold your cross before my eyes. In the midst of this world’s darkness, I look to you alone for my hope and guide. You are my Light and my Life! Amen.
Text and Photo Copyright Steve Nickodemus