A Maundy Thursday Reflection on the Cross

Church of the Brethren Newsline
April 9, 2009

The large wooden cross that sits out in front of the Brethren Disaster Ministries volunteer house in Arabi, La., has a story behind it, according to project consultant Mary Mueller.

It was a gift from a man who had been quite wealthy. He had two large boats. They both were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, but he had taken scraps from them and made crosses.

The back sides of the crosses were rough and worn, like the damaged boat, but the fronts were sanded, finished, and beautiful walnut wood.

His comment was, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh.”

Mary explains to the volunteers that, like this man, they are turning the bad (discarded scrap wood) into something beautiful (a cross) by rebuilding the city and the lives of the people there.

This reflection was written by Kelly Richter, a Brethren Disaster Ministries volunteer from the Church of the Brethren’s Southern Ohio District. Brethren Disaster Ministries is a program of the Church of the Brethren to rebuild homes following disasters, and has a continuing project in the New Orleans area rebuilding homes following Hurricane Katrina.

The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. Contact cobnews@brethren.org to receive Newsline by e-mail or to submit news to the editor at cobnews@brethren.org. For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.

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