It’s a heavy burden to wear a cross, if you try to live up to it
Countless millions of people around the world will wear a cross around their neck; most think nothing of it. They may be one of the more than 2.4 billion Christians worldwide, or they might not. Some who wear the cross have no faith whatsoever, or even have any belief system at all. In their case, assuming it isn’t an heirloom of sentimental value that was given to them by someone else, I guess they might wear the cross simply as an accessory that matches with something else they’ve got on. But it’s not like I can be down on them for that (so I’m not), since so many Christians do the same thing, honestly.
And that’s unfortunate, because for those of us who identify as Christian, or otherwise embrace Christianity as the main part of their overall spiritual identity, if we’re going to wear that cross then it has to mean something, and we have to try our hardest to live up to that. And that ain’t easy, not at all. The more you try to live up to it, the heavier that cross will be around your neck. Because it’s real easy to talk the talk when it comes to Christianity, and so you hear many people doing just that … but to walk the walk, that’s a totally different story. It’s painfully difficult, and requires us to put in great efforts, give of ourselves, and make sacrifices every day … and so you see far fewer people doing this.
So, what does it mean to walk the walk as a Christian person while wearing that cross? I can only speak for myself here. Let me start by explaining how these thoughts on wearing the cross first popped into my head.
I first thought of this when reading The Qur’an, of all things. I was looking in The Qur’an for a genealogy of The Virgin Mary, since the New Testament says just about nothing on that topic! And there are actually more references to Mary (and Jesus too) in The Qur’an than there are in The Bible. Mary has a whole ‘book’ of the Qur’an (called a surah) devoted to Her: Surah Maryam (Maryam being the name for Mary).
Surah Maryam is definitely an interesting read! For one thing, it describes another version of the birth of Christ that is unique to The Qur’an, and it’s totally different from all other descriptions of it. But there was one passage here that stuck out in my mind, and I…