In some of my reading last week I ran across something I hadn't thought of before. The central symbol of the Christian faith -- the cross -- points in every direction: north, south, east, and west. I find myself reflecting on that idea as I think about the future of the Imagine Church movement.
We are a church family comprised of people representing nearly every Christian denomination. We come from a multitude of states around the country, and a considerable number of us have traveled extensively around the world. We are a people of many traditions. Occasionally, people will ask if we can become more like their church back home. But we can't do that. That's not us. We're not just Methodist, or Presbyterian, or Lutheran, or Catholic, or any one denomination. We are all represented by the banner under which we worship: the cross that points in every direction.
You see, that's what the cross is for, Christians. It is the symbol that signifies what Christ did for us. It reminds us who we are and what we do and how we live. Who we are and whose we are -- that's what the cross represents. "Beneath the cross of Jesus, I fain would take my stand," sings the old hymn. That's what we do, you see, when we gather under the cross of Christ. We take a stand. We accept a challenge. We have to learn to speak to each other in new ways that represent our faith and our Lord. It's about taking up a whole new way of living, thinking, and being.
What we are undertaking at Imagine Church today will impact the life of this community and the world for generations to come. This is serious business we are about because, you see, the cross was raised on a hill far away where Jesus poured out his life for us. And now Jesus says to us, "Take up your cross and follow me."
In the name of the One who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
Bruce Jones, Pastor and Co-Creator,
Imagine Church of the Carolinas