The Natal Cross
By Dale Tucker
Matthew 2:2 Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.
Colossians 1:19-20 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him and through him to reconcile to himself all things whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Above the choir stands an important symbol of the Christian faith. Actually it is two symbols--the star and the cross--combined into one prophetic symbol. The wise men from the east are seeking the King of the Jews who has been born and they have come to worship him. What happened afterwards must have been confusing to many people. These astrologers see a sign of importance and promise and follow it, probably thinking to see an infant king living in a palace but they end up at a humble house in a backwater town. (Don't confuse the shepherds finding him in a manger with this which happened later) And then they are warned to return another way to their homes. Herod sought a potential threat and tried to eliminate it. During this Advent season, we also recognize the promise of the star--He is coming! We say "Wise men still seek him."
But, of course, there is more to the symbol and the story. We would not be in this church without both the birth symbolized by the star and Christ's death symbolized by the cross. His death and its meaning are also confusing. Why would a father send his son to die for others? Of course we have seen that when sons go off to war and we see afterwards the pride and the sorrow of parents whose child has paid the "ultimate price." We can reflect upon what was going through the minds of the Father and the Son, not to mention mother Mary. But the death of one human (yet God's son) that covers the guilt of all present and future sinners. Even we in the church still try to wrap our heads around that mystery.
Promise and sacrifice all in one symbol. Yes, we are waiting for His birth during this time, but we are aware of the rest of the story and what it means to those who follow Him.
May we always reflect on both the promise and the sacrifice and how this has changed the lives of millions through the years. Let us be like the magi from the east and seek Him. Amen.