This week I did something I’ve never done before. I bought a new cross necklace. I know this sounds trivial, and in some ways it is. However, I had worn the same cross for 35 years. It was a very subtle crucifix because the “Crucified God” image held a lot of power and hope for me. Then the chain broke while we were on vacation. And it made me think.
I could have fixed the chain as I have done before, or even purchased a new chain. Instead, I took a few days to think about what I wanted. The previous cross was bent, its cut-out (representing the body of Jesus) was hardly recognizable. Did this still have meaning for me?
Yes, I still find a lot of hope in the concept of the Crucified God. Though, these days, it isn’t so essential for me. I needed something that focused more on grounding, centering, and continued growth. The crucifix I had worn for decades was a reminder that there is life after death; there is hope and healing after pain and trauma. This is not the message I need now.
For a couple of days I searched for a cross that would remind me to ground myself in the Spirit so that I remember that the work I do is not mine alone. I eventually settled on a copper cross with tree branches embossed on it, made by an Etsy artist. Grounded and growing is what it says to me. This is a good message to carry into the next few decades.
This experience of my broken necklace made me think about what I need now, rather than what I have done for years. It’s a good practice to check in now and then and ask ourselves what we need for this moment, especially when it comes to faith.
Have you thought about the symbols and images of your faith? Has your understanding of who God is changed over the years? Have you given yourself permission to embrace and explore those changes? It’s okay to let go of things you were taught when you were younger, especially if they keep you connected to a God who is too small for who you are in the world today.
Take a few minutes and think about who God is in your life. Maybe, you need to update your image of God as I did. Maybe not. Either way, this Easter season is an excellent time to ask yourself whether your understanding of God has grown as you have grown and changed. Perhaps it’s time for a new image.
If in your reflections you come up with questions about who God is, please put them in the comments below. We can talk about these things. They could also be excellent contributions for this summer’s sermon series!
As you ponder who God is for you now, may you experience the blessings of new life emerging all around us.
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