An Ash Wednesday Meditation

I favor crosses of precious metal, finely-crafted wood or, best, bejeweled. For making an instrument of death a thing lovely to behold, indeed, to wear hardly stirs my guilt and shame for the sacrifice Jesus had to make for me.

Yet this is Lent. The season to follow Jesus again to Jerusalem. The season to reflect afresh on his suffering and dying for me. (Not that such is reserved only for Lent; nevertheless, the soul of this season’s ageless annual call compels it.)

So, at least for a moment, I reject the precious metal, discard the finely-crafted wood, close my eyes to the bejeweled crosses, and only, in the words of the hymn, “survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died.”[1]

And gazing on that rough-hewn cross, again, to paraphrase the hymn, “forbid it, Lord, that I should boast save in your cross…all the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to your Blood.”

© 2022 PRA

[1] From the hymn, When I survey the wondrous cross (1707), words by Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

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