The Sunday morning that our little baby from China is dedicated to God?
Our Syrian Muslim refugee family steps through the doors of our little country chapel for the first time, sit in the back row, and Jesus is lifted high and tell me how the world is being made new and I will believe you.
When the whole little country congregation welcomes our Muslim friends, when Arabic words of greeting flash up in front of us farmers and carpenters and and tired mothers, one Muslim mama, Fatin, she blinks back, wipes away, her thanks running down.
And when they say our Chinese baby’s name, call us to the front, and pray that our little found and chosen China baby would walk with Jesus all the days of her life, she turns to me, her broken half heart pounding loud under my hand, her eyes as large as small reflecting worlds looking up into mine —
and I don’t know how any of us are ever found, how any of us are chosen, how any of us, all of us, get the grace of all this being alive together, holding on to each other.
On the eve of the 499th anniversary of Reformation Day — our Muslim refugee family sit next to us in a chapel with a cross held high and the preacher says that there is a way for the needy to be rescued and there’s that little boy in Aleppo, caked in dust and blood, waiting for someone to come, for someone to reach out, and the world changes when we’ve been changed. There is good news that is realer than any headlines because it resuscitates flat-lining hearts.
On the eve of the 499th anniversary of Reformation Day — Fatin calls our baby name across the sanctuary and they come to each other with arms outstretched and the Middle East meets China under a cross in the middle of country corn fields and the axis of the cross is revolutionizing the world and it is possible to see these things with your own eyes.
On the eve of the 499th anniversary of Reformation Day — this cultural moment is begging for a hope reformation, a healing reformation, a hands reaching out reformation.
This cultural moment is begging for transformation — and a nation transforms when God’s people live cruciform.
Cruciform — formed and shaped like a cross, arms out-stretched like the beam of the cross, broken and given out into a broken-hearted world.
Over 400,000 kids are sitting in foster care right now in the United States. There are airstrikes raining in Aleppo and children bleeding through the streets. There are broken hearts beating and bleeding within your reach.
And the call of the cross is relentless and it is ruthless and it will resurrect and make everything new and it will have it’s way and it will cost.
We don’t get to be people of the cross in the world — without being people who die to the world.
We don’t get to be people of the cross in the world — without being people who die to self to bring the love of Christ to the world.
We don’t get to be people of the cross in the world — without being people who live shaped and formed like a cross — cruciform — in this world.
People who love the Cross — are people who will die to things they love.
To carry a cross means you come to an intersection, and you choose Him and never look back.
To become cross-centered, cross-shaped means —
Choosing Christ in the midst of everything else — may mean losing everything else.
But gaining everything that lasts forever.
Spiritual formation — is ultimately cruciformation.
And this cultural moment is begging for a new way, a different way, a broken way of living broken and given like bread into a starving world.
Reformation and transformation happens in places where there is cruciformation.
Cruciformation — it’s is a a scientific definition, a term in molecular biology referring to the transformation from lineform DNA to cruciform (cross-shaped) DNA.
And this cultural moment is begging the DNA of all things to transform from a linear worldview, from a flat-line view of the world, to a cross-shaped view of everything.
From flat screens, from flat faith, from flat-line living — to cross-shaped thinking, cross-shaped seeing, cross-shaped choosing, cross-shaped living, to cruciformation.
On the first day of the 500th year since Reformation Day — this is the time, for such a time as now, that the people of the Cross commit to cruciformation.
Fatin leans in and kisses our little baby girl from China and the world can transform into the form of something beautiful everywhere our paths cross — cruciform.
Our story of taking The Broken Way and living cruciform: This one’s for all of us who have felt our hearts break a bit for a brokenhearted world…
This one’s for the brave and the busted and the real and dreamers and the sufferers and the believers.