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X Marks The Spot

posted Sep 29, 2014, 9:52 AM by Pastor Chuck   [ updated Nov 18, 2014, 11:24 PM ]
We have lived in Lenoir for four years now.  Lenoir is a wonderful community with wonderful people.  We are blessed with a variety of cultural activities and events throughout the year.  The sculptures and other types of art give our city its own unique personality.  The Harper School of Music provides wonderful concerts throughout the year.  Our high schools have some wonderful chorus programs along with the various band groups and ensembles.  

Our business community is another example of the creative spirit that lives in Lenoir.  From small shops to long time businesses you can find all kinds of goods and services here in Lenoir. As Google, Exela, and other new businesses locating in our city, you can find a variety of products, jobs, and services to choose from.  These wonderful businesses and the people who work there are community leaders who also contribute to our city's unique personality.  

With all there is to love about Lenoir, there is one thing that I miss.  Signs of what I miss can be found in a variety of places.  I cross one every time I come the church.  They can be found in the streets and by the side of the road.  In a few places they appear above the streets.  Sometimes they run along side older buildings.  They cross creeks, ditches, and valleys.  Occasionally you will find one that is very well lighted with flashing red lights.  And almost everyone of them is marked by a cross.  You might say X marks the spot. 

By now you've probably guessed that I'm talking about railroad crossings.  I fell in love with trains when I was a boy.  My grandparents lived in a large house with a large yard that was across the street from the railroad tracks that ran by the old ice house.  As a boy I used to love watching the trains roll by there.  When we were in the car, my heart would race whenever we approached the railroad crossing with the black and white crosses and the lights began to flash, the bells began to ring, and the crossing arms began to lower.  Soon I would be counting the engines and then the rail cars as the train roared by.  Even today, my heart will skip a beat whenever I hear that train blow its horn and see the crosses that mark the spot it will soon pass. I still get a certain sense of excitement and child-like joy when I see those railroad crosses.  

The cross holds an even greater place in my heart as a follower of Jesus.  When I see a cross, it is more than just a grave marker.  It is more than a popular piece of jewelry.  It is more than a mere icon or piece of art.  The cross is the very crossroads of death and life in our world.  For centuries, death had held sway over all people of every age!  No one could avoid death save two men from the Old Testament days.  But when Jesus came, He was born to die on the cross.  The old picture of the manger with the shadow of a cross cast over it tells the story well.  Jesus died on the cross for you and me.  When He rose from the grave, Life everlasting became a reality in our world.  And ever since that day the cross has become the point in history where Christ defeated sin and death to give us forgiveness and eternal life.  For Christians X marks the spot. For everyone who believes in Jesus, the cross makes a world of difference.  The cross makes our hearts race with excitement, hope, joy....LIFE!  The cross marks the turning point in the history of humanity.  

Everyone who turns to faith in Jesus as their Savior and Lord recognizes the cross as that great crossroad in their life where they left death behind and walked into life everlasting.  May the cross always make our hearts skip a beat and then begin to race as we remember the wonderful gift of salvation that has come to us through the grace of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  How about you; does your heart still skip a beat whenever you see the cross?  
God loves you and I do too.  See you Sunday!