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A New Look At The Old Cross

Each week during old. rugged. cross. we are presenting a version of that classic hymn. In the first week, Claude York, accompanied by Chris Macedo on acoustic guitar, sang it with all the Southern Gospel gusto of the original.

Yesterday, however, was different. With the stage bare except for a wooden cross (on which we focused a number of lighting combinations), we played this:

John Pavlovitz wrote it. Joey Hopper recited it. And Chris Macedo recorded & edited it.

It’s the kind of creative element that again makes me grateful to work here.

Here’s the text itself:

The old. rugged. cross.

On a hill, far away it stands.
From the past, like a faded photo memory
From centuries upon centuries.
Yet here, today, newly.
It came before me, yet it stands before me.
I take it in.
I survey it.
I mean, I look it over, but I cannot overlook it.
Gaze through the haze of myself.
I see it with ever-opening eyes.
and now I live this life “Cross-eyed”
See the One so despised,
The One who paid the greatest price.
The Perfect Lamb slain.
His blood leaving stains
deep in beaten wood grain.
and not a sin of mine, remains.

Upon this old, rugged, cross.
The place of such brutality
Pierced with the nails –
Nails that were meant for me.
Hangs a love so divine.
And such Glory from it shines
Like the noon sun beating down
Like the sweat upon His brow.
Like the jewel of a crown.
On one dead tree.
One man dead, though temporarily.
A world of slaves now free.
A loser’s victory.
A sinner’s reprieve.
That sinner? I am He.

I cherish the old rugged cross.
By that, I mean I treasure it.
Love it.
I place no one and nothing above it.
It is worth every reproach, every shame.
It is my joy now, to bear the weight of His name.
Just as he carried the Cross.
Just as he carried me.
I carry on.
In hope, in faith.
In love, in Grace,
No cost is too great.
Any price I would pay.
Here in this world.
In this moment.
In this day.
I grab hold of this old rugged cross.
I cling to it.
With straining hands.
hands that will someday-
Lay these earthly trophies down,
Exchange them all for a crown.
In the old, rugged Cross, I am freed.
At the old rugged Cross I am found.

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