In my last post, I detailed three simple phrases that I shared with the young couple in my message to them on their wedding day. These phrases were “Thank you,” “forgive me” and “I will.” Quite a number of you responded that you, too, had discovered the power of these simple expressions when sustained by the will to enact them.
However, the really powerful moment for many at the wedding ceremony and candidly, for myself, was what I shared with the couple as a closing thought. Like so many of my messages over the years, this was not something that I had thought about for weeks in advance; rather, it came to me after I thought I’d finished this message and just hours before the ceremony.
This is what God put on my heart. Those same three phrases constitute something deep and unmistakable every time I see a cross. Whether it be on the top of a church steeple or on the side of a hill along the Turnpike or simply in a church sanctuary, those are the three responses that the cross evokes.
“Thank you” God for loving me so much that you sent your Son to live and to die for me. His sacrifice gives meaning to my life and hope for my eternity.
“Forgive me” for the many times that I sin consciously and unconsciously by choosing my own will and often my own ways rather than the clear leading of your Spirit and wisdom of your Word.
“I will” by the power of the Spirit within me seek to walk so much closer to you than I ever have in times past. I will commit myself in this moment for this day to honor you with my life and to seek your Kingdom and your righteousness above all other things.
There’s so much more that could be said. However, in that moment I recognize that what has become an all too common symbol for many in our culture sits at the very intersection of love and destiny in our lives. The same response to the love of God as seen on the cross is also the enablement to live a life of love in the most intimate relationship of our lives with our spouse.
Coincidence? I don’t think so. In ways that we are all still discovering, Jesus came to show us not just how to have our sins forgiven and find eternal life, but even more, how to live this life in the fullness of His perfect love.