March 28, 2024

Emily Stadler
"For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
1 Corinthians 1:18

I grew up in East Texas, where there were just as many churches as fast-food restaurants. Having a church on every corner led me to wonder what they were selling because I knew they weren’t selling ice cream sandwiches.

My family would shuffle in through the church doors each Sunday dressed in our Sunday best. We would sit in our usual spot, talk to the same people, and have polite conversations each week. Then we would go back home and live our normal lives. None of it made any sense to me, and I was very skeptical.

I wasn’t learning about Jesus or His deep love for us, I was learning about religion and rules and checklists that would get me into heaven someday. Nothing was personal and in fact, it all felt very distant and foolish to me.

The message of the cross was all twisted in my disbelief and misunderstanding of the church and religion. It took a long time for my walls to come down and for me to allow myself to feel the Holy Spirit stirring within before I could form a personal relationship with Jesus and ultimately choose to follow Him.

The transformative power that the cross offers is one of love, sacrifice, strength, and reconciliation. Any skepticism that was still lingering deep within me was blown away by the truth. Lord, teach us to see beyond worldly wisdom and to embrace the transformative power of the cross. May we find strength in our vulnerabilities and hope in our surrender to Your will.