Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Cross (as in the Cross of Christ) (08/17/06)
TITLE: Stained With Crimson
By Aylin Smith
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The sun shone bright through the tall, stained glass windows displaying an array of colors upon this beautiful Sunday morning, the sanctuary took on a new light as a large cross stood near the pulpit, Silence filled the little church for a long moment before the pastor stood up to preach.
“I want everyone to close their eyes, listen carefully to my instructions.” He began while looking out over his congregation.
“Picture being in a large crowd where people are spitting at you, yelling in your face while blood from a crown of thorns embedded in the flesh trickles down your cheek, a body bruised and battered from beatings.”
The raw emotion from the Pastors voice was undeniable as he paused but for a moment then continued speaking softly.
“Now we are walking through the streets, despite what you have endured, it is now demanded that a cross you must carry through the city, towards a hill far away called Golgotha. The weight of this cross is so heavy that you stumble beneath it.”
“We find ourselves lying down atop the lonely cross with arms outstretched wide. Guards place a single long width nail in palm of your hand then with a hammer drives it deep into the flesh piercing through the bone until lodging into the wood, precious blood flows from the wounds inflicted.”
“Can you feel the agony yet? Is the pain etched vividly across your face?” The pastor asked softly. “There is a nail for the other hand, following the same excruciating process. Down at the bottom, a larger nail is buried within both feet, anchoring them firmly into the thick wood.”
Now in place, the cross is raised so that all may see the suffering endured by you. The family and friends you love so dearly stand by watching this ghastly torture knowing nothing could be done to save or help you. In that final moment, you take that last breath before death knowing this was all part of a grander plan from your Heavenly Father.”
Soft sounds of weeping echoed within the quiet church as the Holy Spirits presence was felt within the hearts that opened up to receive him.
“Open your eyes. “The pastor said as his own tears fell freely from his face. “Look at this cross before you today. It represents the one that was stained with my Saviors blood so that we are forgiven of the sin in our lives, if we have accepted him as Our Lord.”
“He called your name from that cross. Will you answer him today?” The pastor spoke as he stepped down from the pulpit to kneel at the foot of the cross. “I am here Lord.”
While the invitation was given, most everyone walked the isle to be renewed at the Old Rugged Cross by the blood that stained the dark wood.
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