|Cross logo from Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Fairview, NC|
When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, he responded by saying "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself." This is something I believe we cannot do alone. It is the power of Christ working in our lives that makes this possible.
Jesus connects us to God in a profound and powerful way. Through him we understand the nature and character of God. Through him we are bonded to God in a way that is not possible without him.
Likewise, it is the power of Christ's love and forgiveness working in our lives that makes it possible for us to love and forgive our neighbors as well as ourselves. The cross reminds us that Jesus is the one who helps to make these connections possible. He is the spiritual glue that holds everything together.
This is the only way we can do church. Far too many Christians have a number of litmus tests for what constitutes being a Christian such as their stance on homosexuality, abortion, taking the Bible literally, etc. This has left the Christian community fractured, bruised, divided and wounded. We cannot put anything other than Christ in the center of the whole thing falls apart. Therefore, Lent is a good time to ask ourselves what our spiritual center is going to be.