What It Means To Wear the Cross

December 27, 2010 | 19 comments

My sister-in-law handed me a tiny box. Her anticipating eyes — wide, bright — told me this was a gift I’d love.

I peeled back the wrapping paper. Inside: a necklace with an amethyst cross under beveled glass. I held it in my hands, grateful. I turned it over and over and over again.

The charms droop below my neckline, and fall over my heart. The amethyst sparkles. This is my birthstone, decorating a cross. And I can’t help but think how the rough-hewn Calvary cross — unadorned, but for my Savior — is my birthstone. Yes, that cross where Jesus died is my real Birthstone.

And I am alive.

Thirty-three years separates the wooden trough from the wooden crossbeams. And two days after Christmas, I can’t stop thinking about what brought Him here, and what held Him there: My sin.

I reach up to cup the cross in my palm. I wonder: Will they all think it strange that I talk about an execution so soon after the birthday party? Is this is a bit like visiting a new mother in the maternity ward, cooing over her newborn in the isolette, and then turning to her to blurt out: “You know, he’s going to die someday.”

But I can’t help it.

I think it is good and right to remember the cross, and to speak of it, unafraid. Christmas is just one chapter in an epic story that spans the ages. Oswald Chambers once wrote that when we speak of the Cross, the “energy of God is let loose.”

I grasp the cross, aware of unseen energy on the dawn of redeeming grace.

Yes, I can speak of a cross on Christmas.

Because I would have missed the point entirely if — when I looked into the manger — I saw anything other than a Lamb.

I intend to carry Bethlehem all year through.
I also plan to carry Calvary.

“But God forbid that I should glory,
save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
— Galatians 6:14

by | December 27, 2010 | 19 comments


  1. David Rupert

    Jennifer. Another stunning post from you taken from the everyday. 33 years from a wooden trough to a wooden cross will never leave my mind.

    And no. It's not too early to talk about a funeral so soon after a birthday

  2. Charity Singleton

    Jennifer — I resonated so well with your post today. The desire to keep Christ with us all year, not just on Christmas. The desire to not get stuck in Bethlehem, but to make it all the way to Golgotha with Jesus. Thanks for these poignant thoughts. I linked up with you today since I wrote about something so similar.

    By the way, I LOVE the necklace!

  3. S. Etole

    This is so beautifully written … the tree isn't always a thing of beauty but it is a way of sacrifice.

  4. Linda

    You have woven them together so beautifully Jennifer. We really cannot look at one without seeing the other. It takes my breath away when I think that He knew – long before the world was formed He knew. And He loved us enough to come.

  5. A Simple Country Girl

    Because He went from cradle to cross for me, that is why I, too, see my blood when I see the Babe.


  6. Lyla Lindquist

    Seems you and your crossed eyes are in good company. Simeon waited a little over a week, but it was only because he didn't get the memo He'd been born yet.

    Luke 2:34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

    The old man crossed the bridge straight over from His birth to His dying too.

    And so, we can say I am alive.

    I count on you and your inability to see it any other way.

  7. Jo-Ann

    What a lovely token of love given to you to remember the greatest gift of all given in love for sinful mankind!

  8. Sarah

    Both made of wood. The manger and the cross. I will carry both with me, rejoicing in His birth, walking in His light of the resurrection.

    Happy day my friend,

    And rejoice with me, I got a water buffalo for Christmas!

  9. Ann Kroeker

    Our Protestant church doesn't take communion during our Christmas Eve service, but I assume that Catholic churches and many others do…and that act of worship seems like a tangible way to speak of the Cross on Christmas.

    Since we know the whole story, it's powerful to tell it all!

  10. Amy Sullivan

    I love how you turn the every day events back over to Him.

    Always inspired by my visits.

  11. Kathy S.

    I just heard a message today about the tree in the garden…and that Jesus was hung on a tree to take away the curse…

    And I thought, it's a sandwich like that…

    The cradle and the cross. Both from a tree. ~another sandwich.

    Perhaps alpha and omega would be more biblical.
    But I am childish like that!

  12. Christina Parker Brown

    What a wonderful way to remember!
    Beautifully written and timely 🙂
    Ps I love the necklace! Such an awesome sister -in-law!

  13. jasonS

    Beautiful, Jennifer. And He is the One who declares the end from the beginning. He sees the full picture so I wouldn't see anything wrong with celebrating the whole plan. Wonderful post. Thanks!

  14. Peggy Arteberry

    ""Because I would have missed the point entirely if — when I looked into the manger — I saw anything other than a Lamb.""

    So true and so beautiful….

  15. B His Girl

    Beautiful thoughts on His love for us. b

  16. The Soap Sister

    What an inspired post…you have such a lovely way of saying the truths that we just can't hear enough of! Thank you.

  17. Alleluiabelle

    I love you my friend…

    Your penned words always deeply and warmly penetrate into my mind, heart and soul in such a manner that I am filled to the core every time I leave here.


  18. Shaunie Friday--Up the Sunbeam

    I have been thinking along these lines too Jennifer–so important that we see the big picture in the up close details. You have drawn these lines so beautifully!

  19. elaine @ peace for the journey

    Beautiful cross, beautiful reminder. I think upon our annual Christmas letter this year that speaks of both the cross and manger in the same breath. We cannot escape our reality–Christ's reality. It's what he came to do; it's the reason we can fully live.

    So grateful for all the moments of our Lord; what a journey of exploration he's given to us–enough to fill our senses and our search for our remaining days.

    Born to die, so that we might live.

    Exactly. Both Christ and us.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest