By the Rev. Coryn Elaine Pena
“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
This walk in which we find ourselves as Christians is not an easy one, nor was it meant to be. We are told to take up our cross to follow Jesus. We are not told to take up this light and easy vacation, but rather a cross. The cross, the emblem of suffering and shame, is to be our mantle. If we find that our way is easy we might be missing something along the path. We might have walked right by the cross that we were supposed to pick up.
We are in a time of major upheaval in the church. Issues divide us. People have more than ever to choose from on their weekends and they are not choosing church. Even within the church we face discord and discontent over theology and economy. The church seems to be carrying some major crosses, each heavier than the next. And it does not seem as if any of the crosses will become less burdensome anytime soon.
But as Christians we stand and face such scripture as this one from Ephesians, one that expresses that God’s love is too great for us to understand. What we must realize is that even in the face of all these obstacles God’s love is vaster than our own. God’s love is bigger, brighter, bolder, stronger. It is we who fail. It is we who create these crosses. The crosses of poverty, of hatred, of intolerance.
God’s love is bigger than all of these things, these crosses. God’s love would not allow for these things. It is we who must love.
My last wish for you, dear friends, is to know God’s all-encompassing love. But better yet, my wish is for you to let someone else know that love. Let someone who is unlovable know that they are indeed loved. Let them in on that one best-kept secret of the church. Let that be the cross you take up.
Peace and Love,
(From The Frankford Methodist, Frankford Memorial UMC (FGM), Philadelphia)