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Get off the Cross

Lessons learned from a local church on Easter Sunday.

Easter morning I attended a church service at a church I had not been to before, on Sandy Plains Road.

At the front of the church was a large cross covered with flowers. Toward the end of the service, the pastor invited everyone to come take a flower off the cross to represent our commitment to getting off the cross.

Christianity is not about hate or hurting others or holding on for dear life. It’s about trusting, forgiving, letting go and letting God.

As I took a flower off the cross and sat down with my little flower, I felt weight lift off me. My heart was overflowing with trust, with forgiveness of myself and others and with inner peace and love.

The pastor asked us to daily recommit ourselves to getting off the cross, to forgiving, to trusting God to lift us up higher. We are to be transformed from the inside out.

What happens when we feel we are on the cross, being beaten and torn?  What happens when we feel people are simply not accepting us and never will?

No one has a perfect past. No one is without sin. But, oh, what a life we live when we repent and transform our lives to lead the life God has chosen for us. Does it matter how others perceive us? What if they hold on to one flaw and never forget it and refuse to see the real you?

Jesus taught love and forgiveness. No matter what others thought about him, he continued with love. He didn’t try to conform to their way of thinking or do things the way people thought he should do them. Jesus knew who he was. He wasn’t boastful about it. He didn’t show off. He let his actions speak for himself. Many people were scared by it. Others saw the love of God and transformed their own lives and followed in his footsteps.

During this Easter Season, what will you let go of? When you get off the cross, what will you be leaving behind and moving on from? Demand to see yourself as the beautiful, beloved child of God and be willing to trust in Him 100%.

Don’t hold on to fear and watch others pass by with freedom. Let go of what is keeping you back. Leave it behind because it is based in fear. We either trust God or we don’t. This Easter, I chose God. I am getting off the cross of persecution and condemnation. I am transforming my thoughts to be higher than they have ever been.

Join with me. Let go. Forgive. Move forward.

This poem by Edward Markham shows how to do just that:

He drew a circle that shut me out,
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win,
We drew a circle that took him in.

Pamela Gottfried May 05, 2011 at 03:19 PM
Beautiful piece! Funny: yesterday I heard a rabbi recite the same poem. This gives me hope that we will trust and love our neighbors without judgments. Thanks you for your words of wisdom. Rabbi Gottfried
Lenore Bush May 05, 2011 at 05:50 PM
I have always loved the experience of Unity! How awesome is it that a Rabbi spoke this as well?! Thank you God for making us all "in your image" and allowing your light to shine from all of us, very wonderful and diverse human beings! Amen...and Aaaamen!
Julie Paulk May 05, 2011 at 11:28 PM
I'm glad you both enjoyed the article and how interesting that you also heard the same poem. A friend first shared it with me three years ago when I was going through a very difficult time. It reminded me that even though people may be nasty to us, we can actually encircle them with Love. That heavenly Love can calm any storm, even if the only place it calms down is in our own thought.
Donna Stott May 06, 2011 at 06:24 PM
Thank you Julie for your post. I am signing up for your future postings! Appreciate you sharing.
Fr. Panayiotis Papageorgiou May 16, 2011 at 05:20 AM
Thank you for this beautiful article, Julie.

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