Please don’t let the title of this posting offend you – I will try to explain.
About 30 years ago my brother, Dwain, built a beautiful laminated wood cross for me that hung in the sanctuary of the first church I pastored. The cross was a combination of beauty and raw strength. When we transitioned from our first church the cross went into deep storage. Last month my wife, Jan, needed a cross as a ministry station icon for a wonderful night of worship in our sanctuary. After the evening was over Jan temporarily deposited the cross in my office where it has stayed for a few weeks.
This morning , while I was at the church early praying, I got one of those nudges of the Spirit. I felt I was to take the cross and put it in the back seat of my car and literally drive it around the entire Rogue Valley. It was still “o-dark-thirty” when I put the cross in the back seat and began to circumnavigate the valley where I pastor.
The assignment from the Lord was simple – put on a worship CD and drive around the perimeter of the valley touching all the cities. While I drove I was to pray in the Spirit and praise and prophesy over the people of this region. Last month I posted a prophetic word for 2009 and one element of that word was that 2009 would be a year of unusual prophetic acts that would become targets of God’s outpouring. This drive around the valley was one of those unusual prophetic acts.
The cross means many things to many people. This morning the cross was an announcement that resurrection life was coming. Today, the cross was also an announcement to the people of this region that what appears to be dead will come alive again. Just as the cross was half the message of our deliverance, today’s drive was a prophetic act about the other half – resurrection. The cross was, and still is, an announcement about the coming of God’s resurrection power and freedom. The Early Church fathers, and hopefully those of us that follow, will realize that our message for 2009 is not one of death but of resurrection.
The cross makes hell nervous when the church understands that we not only live on the other side of the cross, but we also live on the other side of the empty tomb. Both are connected and one precedes the other. When we live with the anticipation that this new life is for this new year, and every year from now until His coming, it changes everything we do and think.
I experienced many different things as I drove the cross around my valley. The roads were icy. There were patches of fog with ice crystals falling on the roadway. There was an unbelievably beautiful color of pink on the clouds as the day was trying to break. There were songs on the CD that talked of something new coming.
On the first Easter morning an empty cross was yet to be understood by those who would become the church. We know different. The Cross made way for the empty tomb and the coming power of the Spirit. As I drove around the valley this morning I could not help but think some of what I was doing was in partnership with God and His angels.
When I turned back onto the street where I first begin this mornings journey I looked at the clock – it took 1 hour and 18 minutes to make the drive.