“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

“In the Cross of Christ I Glory”

(Please read Galatians 6:14)

August 24

Our songbook index lists 27 titles under the word “Cross.” One of the more famous ones Is “The Old Rugged Cross,” but it doesn’t seem as popular as it once was. Some Christians actually don’t want to sing about the cross, since they view it only as an instrument of cruel torture and painful execution, an evil device which took the life of our Savior.

We agree with that viewpoint insofar as the literal cross is concerned. But when Paul wrote the words in our text, he obviously didn’t mean that he gloried in a cruel wooden tool of death. He was using the word “cross” as a sort of shorthand for the whole episode of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. In the same sense he spoke of “the word of the cross” in 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NAS), recognizing that while it is foolishness to “those who are perishing,” it is “the power of God” to those who are being saved. And he wrote to the Philippians about some people who were “enemies of the cross of Christ” (3:18). So the cross is used figuratively to mean the very gospel of Christ.

It is this meaning that is central to the hymn whose title is shown above. Its author, Sir John Bowring, was said to be able to converse in over 100 different languages. He served in the House of Commons and wrote 36 books on many topics, but he is remembered mostly for this hymn, whose title is inscribed on his tombstone.

May our lives show that we too “glory” in the cross of Christ.

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