Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The cross is just another lie

I took a trip down to Stockholm’s famous world-heritage cemetery, Skogskrykogården, over the weekend. The short visit didn’t bring any answers as to why the cemetery became a world heritage site, but it did bring a few questions to mind.

Does the cross mean death, or life?

What does the cross really mean to people?

Has the significance of the cross been too corrupted for us to grasp its true meaning?

When you step into the cemetery, the first thing you’ll see is a huge granite cross right in the middle of a green, open field. The cross is not meant to depict the usual symbol of the Christian faith, but is a direct representation of the cross that accompanied all death notices at the time. As I gazed out at the fields dotted with crosses – tombstones erected to mark the burial grounds – I couldn’t help but wonder how many people truly believed in Christ. Or was it just a fashion symbol, something a person put up because it was ‘the thing to do’ when you died? Just like how, simply because they liked the notion of it, people got baptized or married in a church.

How many of us ‘hang labels’ around our necks? ‘I’m a Christian’ grants you immediate
access to a large support group, but makes you feel awkward when mixing with a bunch of atheists. So many of us conveniently stick a temporary ‘I’m a Christian’ post-it on your tee when mixing with Christian friends, and conveniently rip it off just before going to a night club. Or do we refuse to label ourselves at all, because we don’t want to be bound by those labels that we’ve stuck on ourselves?

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