Today’s Word: ‘Remember‘ as in… remember who you are and whose you are.
There’s something wonderfully poignant about being in a familiar space decades after the space first became familiar. The Chapel of the Cross on the campus of Luther Seminary in St. Paul is one of last untouched spaces on a campus heading toward significant change and transition. At one time it was a central gathering point for students being trained for ministry. It was “a place apart” where people could find quiet moments of worship in an otherwise bustling community.
One of the truly remarkable features of the Chapel is the sculpture, “Crucifixion”, designed specifically for the chapel by the late artist, Paul Granlund. Placed in the midst of the worshippers, the sculpture created a strong response from all who viewed it. Almost no one was neutral to the piece. Granlund’s hope was that people would be able to confront the horror of the crucifixion “up close.” For decades that has been the case.
Not long ago I had the opportunity to be in the chapel with two of our three granddaughters. They had me sit in the ‘pew’ while they ‘did’ church. One of them welcomed the congregation (me), the other read “the Gospel” from the 8th chapter of Job (with a little help with words like ‘Bildad,’ ‘papyrus,’ and ‘gossamer.’) We enjoyed great music: the three of us sang Jesus Loves Me. Hymn 436.
But the real poignant moment came on our way out when we walked passed the baptismal font. I reached into the basin of water, then traced the sign of the cross on my forehead, then did the same on the foreheads of my girls. They wondered about that. So, “dipping” way back into a worship class held in this very space 38 years ago, I said,
“Whenever we come into this special space, we trace a cross on our foreheads to remember who we are and whose we are; that we’re named, claimed and loved, a bunch.”
“Can I do that?” Ryann asked.
“Yes, Ryann, absolutely!”
What goes around comes around.