People make fun of me and they always have, because I tend to assume that things (no matter how difficult they seem) will work out. Now, I know that there may be lots of other reasons people have for making fun of me, but that is one of the reasons I know of.
One of the pectoral crosses I wear during Lent is made from three nails recovered from the ashes of St. John’s Church, Lunenburg. I stood with the people of St. John’s one rainy All Saints Day morning and watched the building burn. It was heart-wrenching, to say the least. Late in the afternoon, many of the town’s youth went in the building and grabbed whatever they could to rescue it from further damage. The congregation gathered around the charred altar that night for the Holy Eucharist in their parish hall.
Today, St. John’s Church building has been rebuilt. The rebuilding used enough of the original building techniques to maintain its national heritage status.
A few months after the fire, the rector of the parish gave me a hand forged square nail found among the ashes. It was one of hundreds recovered from the site. To help raise money for the rebuilding effort the nails were joined together as crosses and sold. I bought one and I wear it during Lent.
For me, pectoral crosses are not fashion statements, but faith statements. I don’t wear them because they are pretty but because they carry real meaning. I have four or five pectoral crosses and each one has particular significance for me. The pectoral cross of nails from St. John’s Church is about faith, hope and love: the faith that God’s presence is felt amidst disaster; the hope that even the most challenging difficulties work out, and; the deep love God has for us.
During Lent we prepare for the great celebration of Easter, and even though we retell the story of the Passion of Jesus Christ, we can continue to hold onto those things that remind us that nothing can separate us from God’s love, not even death. So, make fun of me if you wish for being hopeful, but I know that Christ is risen! Alleluia!