Lift High the Cross (ELW 660)
Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adore his sacred name.
1 Come, Christians, follow where our captain trod,
our king victorious, Christ, the Son of God. [Refrain]
2 All newborn servants of the Crucified
bear on their brows the seal of him who died. [Refrain]
3 O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
as thou hast promised, draw us all to thee. [Refrain]
4 So shall our song of triumph ever be:
praise to the Crucified for victory! [Refrain]
“Lift High the Cross” seems to me a fitting hymn as we conclude the Church year on this, “Christ the King” or “Reign of God” Sunday. It reminds us of the prominence the cross holds in the lives of all who seek to follow Jesus by way of the cross. While the world may view the cross as a sign of weakness and failure, for believers it is the ultimate sign of God’s love poured out for all of creation. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). God’s power is everything to those who bear the indelible mark of the cross on our brow and who seek to proclaim the love of God. Above all else, the cross serves as a reminder that our allegiance is first and foremost to Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
O God, may your abiding presence and saving grace sustain us as we unabashedly lift high the cross and proclaim the love of Christ until all the world adores his sacred name. Amen.