Why do we need symbols? They seem to pull something from our long term memory to our to our active working brain that we want to remember.
They also identify us with something -- much the way T-shirts we wear link us to what we want to remember. One of my Youth Alive guys designed this year's T-shirt and the students are pretty proud of it.
My Sunday School Super Kids are creating a plastic "Jesus Box" in which they store all sorts of symbols that we craft to help them remember HIS life.
The Cross is a symbol we wear around our necks and decorate our houses with. What does it really mean to us though?
I was praying on the way to school last Thursday for what my Youth Alive kids could do during lunch. In our weekly life group at Church -- we're having a wonderful study of the last seven sayings of Christ. My mind was still riveted on that discussion when I prayed Thurs. morning and so the thought came to have them make the cross out of popcycle sticks and pipe cleaners and have them center on the cross piece and explain what his outstretched arms meant to them. (I know that HE's the one who gives me these ideas when I see the end result of them)
"I will redeem you with an outstretched arm" was prophesied in scripture. I explained that when we stretch out our arms we are the most vulnerable -- HE did it writhing in pain. So I asked what difference did his outstretched arms make in their lives? I gave this idea to two of my officers and they ran with it. Katelyn and Noah put forth the questions and led a very deep and insightful discussion. It's so energizing to me to hear what comes from their mouths!!! What depth and what love for Jesus!!!
I explained that the symbol of the cross helps us to identify with Christ and HIS people and helps us to remember what he took to that cross for us.
On the flip side, I mentioned that on days when I'm feeling grumbly and grouchy it's hard for me to put on my favorite cross necklace -- because I know I'm not living up to what it represents. I remember there are young people watching to see if I can really LIVE IT out in love as I teach.
With that in mind what a difference HIS outstretched arms want to make in somebody else's life!
I found this two weeks ago on Roy Lessin's blog Meet Me In the Meadow:
The deceiver tells me Christ’s work is incomplete.
The cross tells me it is finished.
The deceiver tells me I am condemned.
The cross tells me I am justified.
The deceiver tells me I cannot be made clean.
The cross tells me the blood of Jesus cleanses me from all sin.
The deceiver tells me the stain of sin has ruined my life.
The cross tells me I have been washed whiter than snow.
The deceiver tells me I can never be free from my past.
The cross tells me all things have been made new.
The deceiver tells me I must work for my salvation.
The cross tells me it is by grace alone.
The deceiver tells me I can live the way I want.
The cross tells me I have been bought with a price.
The deceiver tells me God is against me.
The cross tells me God is for me.
Roy Lesson is founder of Day Spring cards and gifts and writes with depth and clarity of Christ in our daily walk.
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