My church has a wonderful Chapel in the Woods which has been the site of summer time worship every Sunday for over 30 years. It is one of my favorite places to pray and meditate whenever I am near the church campus during the week and on Sundays. It is extra special to me because we have a memory garden at the back of the chapel, and that is where I want my ashes to be scattered when I transition to the next stage of eternal life.
The chapel is also special to me because it was originally started as a fellow Eagle Scout’s project. My favorite feature of the chapel has always been the big cross at the front which was made from a dead tree stump.
But this spring the painful decision was made that the big cross had to come down. The old tree stump had become increasingly unstable due to age and insect damage. So for safety reasons our old rugged cross is no more. We are in the process of deciding what we will put in the old cross’ place. A committee is asking for suggestions for what should come next, but that cross was so perfect for that setting that I cannot yet imagine what could come close to being as meaningful.
The fallen cross seems a fitting metaphor for the grief and uncertainty of the day between Good Friday and Easter. I cannot really imagine the depth of the pain and fear those women and men who loved Jesus so dearly and witnessed his execution on that Friday when the sky turned black. I can’t feel what they felt because I know the rest of the story. We know that the cross is not the end. Thanks be to God