As I looked out at the sky this morning I was surprised to see several vapor trails left by jets. I don't remember seeing any in quite a while, maybe the conditions haven't been right for them. I don't know the science behind them streaking across the sky. But as the paths connected, forming a cross in the sky, I was reminded of a sunrise service my church youth group planned 45-50 years ago. Oh my, that reveals how old I am. Admittedly my memory isn't the greatest but what I do remember of that very special day has stayed with me all these years.
We planned the Sunrise Service in Grammar Grove, a lovely park not too far from Bethel Grove Church. On a hillside as you enter the park we placed three crosses made of logs from the surrounding forest area. The image of those crosses on a hill as the sunrise shone upon them has been stored in my brain for a lifetime.
"Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals--one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing'" (Luke 23:32-34 NIV).
It doesn't really matter that I don't remember anything else about the service, just that it was followed by breakfast cooked in the park and it being quite chilly. I don't remember how old I was, or whether I was part of the service, or who the pastor was, or the adults that helped us pull off such a logistically difficult event. I'm hoping others will share what they remember of the day, to refresh my memories.
This Holy Week brings many memories to mind as we walk through the last days of Jesus' life, His crucifixion, and His Resurrection. May every image of the cross you see this week remind you of the greatest gift God ever gave, the sacrifice of His Holy Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior, and His rising to live again.
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:25 NIV).