The cross is an instrument of torture. It’s the symbol of who we are in Christ, God’s love, his sacrifice, his awesome grace and cleansing blood.  We wear it around our necks, paste it to our walls, build wooden versions of it on our church steeples. We see it so much….have we forgotten what it means?

Bible studies, sermons, small groups, fellowship, even communion and baptism….we have become desensitized to their significance and purpose. Our society has gripped the church and turned it into a selfish, experience-driven buffet that seeks to stuff us with bloated, boring, banal.

We are tired. We refuse to admit it. We are hungry. We don’t know why.

Oh, how the American church has lost its focus! Who can ascend the holy hill of the Lord anymore, as the Psalmist cried out?

Do we pray for Paul’s words to be true in our lives, that we might count everything as loss compared to knowing Christ Jesus our Lord? Do we pray for the Spirit to kindle fire in our souls like what happened to the two men on the road to Emmaus upon exposure to the whole counsel of God?

Dr. D is my preaching professor. She believes passionately that women need to be taught how to carry themselves with dignity, and that sermons must involve powerful ethos, imagination, and rich interest. There is something about the Word that has been made dead and mechanical, routine, trendy, and commonplace.

I agree. Bible studies are safe, fellowship is shallow…..if we seriously trust what God has said about himself, about us, about our world and the battle between good and evil, why do we live the way we do? Why do our churches behave the way they do?

We have passively let the Christian life become a boring routine instead of the most adventurous, beautiful, epic journey with the most amazing Father who loves us. He loves us! Doesn’t that change everything?

The trendiness of our culture devalues everything it touches. Christianity has become so inundated with sentimentality, which contains no beauty because it lacks pain and darkness.

God, help me to see and to live. Spirit, strengthen us all to be true.

“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ  and be found in him…” (Phil 3:8-9)