Jesus on the Cross

(written 2010)

It’s a normal late afternoon at the McGehee house. I’m lying on the couch, “watching” television with Ian. Truth be told, I have no idea what four year old “Caillou” is experiencing on the screen. Like our usual afternoon TV time, I’m daydreaming.

This table is directly at the end of my line of sight and after some random thought I see it.

Holy Family

Yep. It’s the often used Children’s Church mini “altar,” with the Holy Family, the cross and the candle. They are our picture of Jesus.

One day I walked through our house and saw this –

Jesus on the Cross

“What’s Joseph doing here?” I hollered out.

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.

Four year old footsteps came quickly.

“That’s not Joseph,” Ian says, “That’s Jesus. Jesus on the cross.”

I chuckled.

“No. That’s Joseph, “ I said and put him back with Mary and baby.

Funny. It happened over and over. Days would pass and then once again I’d see Joseph up on the cross. First I put him back in place as soon as I caught the change. But after awhile, sometimes I’d leave him there.

It was a beautiful picture.

Doesn’t Jesus look like he’s won the battle standing on that cross? Doesn’t it just look like a picture of Genesis 3 – “He will crush his head.”?

But this afternoon I looked at those altar symbols and got what Ian was saying all along. To him, this was Jesus “on the cross.”

I like powerful Jesus. There’s a truth to that picture.

But that is not “Jesus on the cross.”

It’s time for that phrase to be interpreted for Ian this Easter season.

It is a harsh picture – wood, nails, blood.

But it is truth. And, it is beautiful.

There are many children at Apostles. I don’t know what Easter truth each is ready to hear. But this Sunday, Palm Sunday, we will walk through several Stations of the Cross during Children’s Church.

We will certainly

  • touch wood
  • hear nails hammered
  • see a torn robe

We will take home a handkerchief reminder of sweat and tears.

Children 4 years through 5th grade are invited this week. Please decide before worship service whether your child will attend or stay with you. Rod will invite them to come forward during the gospel anthem. We will stay for the gospel reading and then leave. They will return to you after the sermon, before baptisms.