Many years ago there were two boys who wanted to create a float to enter into their small hometown parade. They pulled their little red Radio Flyer wagon into their father's garage and set to work. Gathering pieces of wood, they began to build a cross on top of their wagon. After it was finished, they went into their mother's flower garden and began to gather flowers. These they placed around the base of the cross and strung into wreaths to hang from its top. While they were in the midst of decorating their cross, the pastor visited. Seeing the float, he said, "Boys! You have it all wrong! The cross was never beautiful. It was old and rugged, a symbol of torture and death. You boys need to fix this!" The boys straightened up, and, looking at the pastor, one of them answered. "But sir, I didn't think Jesus ever touched something and left it the same."

The cross is a perfect example of what Christ does best. He delights in taking old, rugged, ugly things and creating something beautiful from them. About something which once was a symbol of torture and death, we can now sing In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine / A wondrous beauty I see ... So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross / Till my trophies at last I lay down / I will cling to the old rugged cross / And exchange it someday for a crown. God transformed the cross just as He wants to transform you and me. We are rough and rugged, stained with sin and tainted with death. But the good news is that Jesus never touches something and leaves it the same. He came here to "seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and (to) bind up that which was broken, and ... strengthen that which was sick" (Ezekiel 34:16). Won't you let Jesus touch you?

Choosing to be beautiful,

Pastor Sutherland

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