We preach the Cross of Christ
The Great Week has begun and so, as a witness to the redemption in Christ, the
We began our witness with prayers and a hymn in
Leading the procession behind the cross, I was conscious of my anxiety in meeting the gaze of the people who stopped, albeit briefly, to watch. Without the benefit of seeing the people who followed me, I felt detached, alone in my witness and afraid. Br Lawrence commented afterwards that it was more nerve-wracking to walk thus than simply to make your way around town in your habit. We were clearly making a statement of faith and so inevitably this brings with it a challenge.
We could see in the faces of the shoppers passing by an uncertainty, even an anxiety, which in some cases resulted in a discourteous remark thrown at us from the sidelines. People no longer know where to place such belief and such witness. The challenge is not so much one of rebuke but that re-stirring of the unknown, the forgotten sense of meaning in life that we would rather not be reminded we have lost.
So, was it a success? Did such a visible witness of faith in Christ preach to, edify or encourage the shoppers? The constant reminder of God’s love for all humanity, shown above all in his cross, is the work of the Christian and in this Week of salvation, to set this once more in the minds of those just heading for a bank holiday weekend is not a bad thing.
Yet more than this, there is one reaction above all that I remember, one response to our walk that perhaps resonates with the meaning of the event in this Passiontide. Above all the hustle and bustle of the crowds moving to and fro, over all the busy sounds indifferent to our silence; I heard the voice of a little girl. ‘Mummy, look! It’s the cross of Jesus…’