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Through the centuries there have been many different cross patterns: the Latin cross, Greek cross, Jerusalem cross, Coptic cross, Celtic cross, Maltese cross and hundreds of variations, connecting the vertical and horizontal, heaven and earth. The cross is a “kerygmatic” sign, proclaiming a strange divine reality in the midst of human history, with power to reverse our egocentric values and revise our conventional ideas about God.
The cross is a paradox. On the one hand it is rooted in the ground, dug into the soil, connected to our earthly circumstances, heavy with brokenness. On the other hand the cross of Christ sheds heavenly light into our lives with hope and grace. On one hand the cross is a sign
of extreme cruelty but on the other hand it is a sign of love, a sign of shame and a sign of glory, of weakness and of power, of abandonment and of victory. St. Paul claimed that the cross represents “the foolishness of God that is wiser than human wisdom, the weakness of God that is stronger than human strength,” and we could add, the ugliness of the cross is more beautiful than human beauty.
In a century where holocausts are real and violence is no stranger, God is still in Christ, reconciling the world to himself. The cross is His sign. We should give it more than a passing glance.