Tuesday night, I had the privilege of leading a craft at a meeting for the spouses of Chaplains from all over FT Hood! What a lovely bunch of ladies! I developed this Easter Activity, Quest for the Cross, in collaboration with one of the wives based on something she had seen done for Christmas. I provided cross shaped boxes and everything needed to decorate them, along with one printed bible verse to be placed in the box for each day of Holy Week. There were also instructions that suggested daily 'hiding places.' The goal is for the children in the family to find the cross, and then have a small family devotion about the verse inside.
The hostesses and I set up earlier in the day, so I arrived just a few minutes before the rest of the guests. The boxes were arranged in neat rows and the embellishments were staged on 4 tables in the center of the room. There were bright spring flowers and earthy moss, sparkly beads, glittery butterflies, paints, stamps, and buttons. Glue guns rested atop 5 double tables covered with drop cloths and surrounded by chairs.
30 ladies filtered in and took their seats. 30! I have never had that many ladies in one workshop before, so I'm pleased to say that not only did they all leave with a unique and beautiful box containing scripture, but God was gracious enough to give me some time to craft in between assisting the ladies. Some of course needed no direction, others a gentle nudge or suggestion, and a couple just needed a quick lesson on a technique before they set off distressing or stamping on their own.
30 ladies all had the exact same cross shaped box and identical supplies available to them for embellishing, and no two turned out alike. Every gal put their own personal touch on the project. One cross, 30 different ways. Seeing the variety in finished projects based on personal taste and preferences is one of the things I enjoy most about what I do.
As I was reflecting on this mystery yesterday I thought about how the cross on Calvary is both universal and personal, too.
The cross is universal.
Jesus hung there and died for every person who has or ever will live…it doesn't get more universally inclusive than that. His sacrifice was for the forgiveness of all our sins. Not just a select few, not just the more socially acceptable sins, but for every single one; no matter how big or small! He even died for the ones we hardly dare to whisper in the deepest recesses of our souls.
And because He died for them all, each of us can live in freedom from those sins. The promise of salvation and an eternity spent worshipping God in His Kingdom is open and available to all who will believe in His death and resurrection. 'For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…' (John 3:16) The cross is universal.
But it must also be personal. '…that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.' (John 3:16) We must individually follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to faith. I can't believe for anyone else but myself. 'Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed the name of the only Son of God.' (John 3:18). Your belief in the cross must be personal.The power of the cross is both universal and personal. #Easter #Jesus Click To Tweet
The cross is personal.
Your relationship with the Savior must also be personal because each of us has a different personality, temperament, skills, and experiences. Just, because there is one universal salvation doesn't mean we all have to be cookie-cutter Christians. God loves us far too much for that. He who created the heavens and the earth also knows the very number of the hairs on each of our heads. He is both universal and personal.
He loves all of us enough to sacrifice His only Son for us, but He has given us each different gifts to use for His glory…as unique as each of these lovely crosses the women made Tuesday night. I sincerely hope that in some small way through crafting I can help all those who come to My Messy Desk embrace their distinctive beauty.
What Christ gave up on that plain wooden cross is enough to save us all, but like the embellishments on the boxes, God uses our gifts to reach the lost, strengthen the weak, lead the willing and point others to the beauty of the sacrifice because He desires that none should perish.
Dear Heavenly Father, I give you thanks and praise for the sacrifice of your Son to offer us universal salvation as well as for the uniquely personal way you created and love me. I ask that you would help me to discover the gifts you have given me and show me how to use them to your glory! In your Son's Holy name, Amen.
Easter Activity Tutorial Download
To make this project yourself, simply purchase a cardboard cross box from your local craft store. I got these from Hobby Lobby. You can add whatever embellishments you like to the boxes. Flowers, jewels, feathers, stamps, and stickers are some favorites. If you want to use this as a family learning experience during Holy Week, download this printable for some instructions and the verses
'For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.'
'Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed the name of the only Son of God.'
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows
'The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.'
2 Peter 3:9