Last month, our youngest granddaughter confirmed the baptismal vows her parents made for her as a baby. I prayed that she would feel God’s Spirit lift and carry her, not just on that day, but every day of her life. Tom and I gave her a gold cross to mark her commitment to follow in the “Way of Jesus” and her formally becoming an adult in her church family. We want that cross to be a symbol of faith for her. Every time she puts it on, and all the time she wears it, we hope she will be reminded that she is totally wrapped in love, the love of family and particularly God’s love. No one and nothing can take that love away.
We hope it will help her to look for and recognize God’s presence in her life in the multitude of little joys that surround her every day. At the moment, she knows the pleasure that comes when she offers Grandma and Grandpa a spontaneous hug. I watch her pour her love on her animals – cats, dogs, horses. I experience her joy as she flies on her skates at hockey. Together we can sit and read, leaving conversation behind, solid in our love for each other.
We hope it will remind her to live a life of gratitude. She knows how to say thank you. She knows how to express her joy. That cross is a sign of our hope and trust that no matter what comes in her life, she will continue to live that confidence. There will be times of questioning, disappointment, hurt as well as times of great celebration. That cross is a symbol of that sure foundation of faith and love she has today.
As Christians, we wear a cross as a symbol of the love and teaching we have received, as a symbol of the Way of Christ. Whether plain wood or solid gold encrusted with diamonds, the cross is worn to remind us that each and every person on earth is created as God’s special beloved child. In the words of St. Paul, “You are God’s temple. God’s spirit lives in you.” (1 Corinthians 3: 16)