I will be leading us in Communion at the end of today’s post. If possible, pause your recording and/or reading and get some juice/wine and bread ready so you can join me. Communion is more than remembering and honoring; it is a declaration of, the release of, and celebration of victory!
Take Me to the Cross
Most of us have been lost on occasion. I have. Well, not really lost. I'm a man, you understand. We don't get lost; we drive around for hours simply because we like to take the scenic route. We’re sightseeing. After a few hours, we stop to "use the restroom" and very discreetly check with someone to confirm that we're not really lost.
"Yep, right on target," we declare to our passengers. "All we do is..."
The most I've not really been lost is ninety miles.
I recall a time I wasn't really lost in a Colorado forest. I was hunting in an area that was new to me. We arrived at our cabin late in the afternoon and I decided to take advantage of the last couple hours of daylight. I'll just go scout around a little, I thought. This will give me a slight advantage in the morning. And who knows, I might even get lucky and see an elk. Better take my gun.
I scouted 20 minutes too long. This meant a lengthy walk back to the cabin in the dark. No problem. I had my flashlight, compass, and survival gear. I wasn't scared. That's why I whistled and hummed as I walked. I always whistle and hum in the woods at night when I'm not really lost and not really scared.
Somewhere along the trail, I missed a turn. Things look different when going in the opposite direction, especially in the dark.
Nothing jump-starts the imagination like being alone and lost - well, not really lost - in a dark, unknown woods filled with bears, mountain lions, and Sasquatches. Creatures I don't even believe in live in unknown woods at night. (Not that I was scared, you understand.) I heard noises that were downright weird. I’m pretty sure I walked past approximately ten mountain lions and five bears. Luckily, they heard me whistling, detected my confidence, and ran off. It helps to be smarter than they are.
In times like these, at some point, the mind begins to think crazy thoughts and ask strange questions. I know all elk are supposed to be vegetarians, but I wonder if some are really meat eaters? I recall thinking. They don't have deductive reasoning like we humans, but could they possibly know why I'm out here?
"Naw!" I heard myself say out loud.
Then for some unknown reason, I also heard myself say very loudly, "Sure is a great night for a walk. I hope no elk think I've been hunting them."
Suddenly, I startled something near the trail. Limbs and branches cracked and the ground shook as a huge creature rumbled through the night. I think it was a Sasquatch. After I set a new record for the 400-meter dash, I slowed down to 50 mph and congratulated myself for having the calmness to take advantage of this time alone to enjoy some jogging. If you're going to be almost, but not really, lost in the woods, you might as well get in a little aerobic exercise.
"Most guys would never think of that," I bragged to myself. "They'd be too scared." Finally, I came to the main road. I was only a couple of miles south of where I wanted to be. Not bad, I thought.
As I approached the cabin, my concerned buddies were outside waiting for me. "We were starting to get a little worried," they said. "Were you lost?"
"Not really," I replied.
Seeing my sweat-soaked brow they replied in a matter-of-fact manner, "Probably just wanted a little exercise, right?" Guys get it! (1)
We humans aren't really lost. We're just wandering around the planet, exercising in the darkness. The depth of our denial is often profound. Admitting our lost condition is the first step to being found. The next step? Finding the cross.
The streets of London can be challenging to navigate. The city is huge, and its streets meander in different directions. I've been there on several occasions. Most of the time, while being transported here and there, I have no idea where I am or how I got there. I simply leave it to my host and the cabbies.
There are certain landmarks that serve as fail-proof reference points for the locals. One of them is Charing Cross. Near the center of the city, it is known by most Londoners.
A little girl was once lost in this overwhelming maze of concrete, rivers, buildings, and roundabouts. A bobby, the informal term for a British policeman, found her wandering the streets. Between her sobs and tears, she explained that she was lost. "I don't know my way home," she cried. The policeman asked her for her address. "I don't remember it," she said, with even more panic.
"What is your phone number?" He inquired. She didn't know that, either. "Is there anything at all you can think of to help me know where you live?" the kind bobby asked the little girl.
Suddenly, her face lit up. "I know the cross," she exclaimed. "Take me to the cross. I can find my way home from there." (2)
Lost humans have been finding their way home from The Cross for two thousand years. Easy to find, yet missed by many, it marks the way to Father's house.
The Cross is history’s greatest paradox. As the words of the great hymn so poignantly state, it is “the emblem of suffering and shame.” Indeed, it was there that humankind’s greatest act of injustice occurred. And yet, the Cross was also the place of heaven’s greatest act of love. It was there that “the dearest and best, for a world of lost sinners was slain.”
“So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, till my trophies, at last, I lay down. I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it some day for a crown.” (3)
Pray with me:
Father, thank You for the Cross. Your pain must have been incomprehensible. Jesus, thank You for the Cross. You took our place - our sin, grief, pain, and separation from Abba. As we take this bread, representing Your broken body, we are reminded that Your Cross is the way back to Abba’s house. We partake of it now with grateful hearts. (Take the bread)
And Father, Baal has deceived our nation into rejecting You and aligning with him. We now mirror his nature by mutilating our children, taking the lives of our babies, honoring perversion while dishonoring purity, and celebrating violence while persecuting parents who attempt to protect their children. Insanity and depravity rule our Congress, White House, and many Courthouses. WE ARE A VERY LOST PEOPLE.
Take us to the Cross where Baal’s hold can be broken. What can wash away our sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make us whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Lead America back to the Cross! We can find our way home from there. (Take the cup)
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
This chapter introduction originally appeared in Dutch Sheets, The River of God (Ventura, CA: Regal 1998), pp 177-188. Used by permission.
Adapted from D.T. Forsythe, quoted in Roy B. Zuck, The Speaker’s Quote Book (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2009), p 124.
George Bennard, “The Old Rugged Cross,” 1912 (lyrics in the public domain).