Do Believers Still Cling to the Old Rugged Cross?

Hymnals versus new worship music.

It’s a battle many churches are torn apart over, but I believe there is also another battle that is more serious: believers glossing over the words of Scripture and lyrics alike.

In 1912, George Bennard wrote the beloved hymn “The Old Rugged Cross.”  I grew up singing it in church. When I hear the piano start the familiar tune, my heart would lift. Well, most of the time…

The other day I was picking out my jewelry for the day, and my fingers brushed over the inexpensive rose gold chain that held a non-decorated symbol of a cross. It got me to thinking. Growing up in church, I wore jewelry with crosses and Scripture verses. As a young pig-tailed tot, I drew pictures of the cross in the church bulletin. As I got older, I pushed the crayon aside for a paint brush, but still painted the symbol of the Christian faith. But even though I knew what the cross represented, I took for granted what it meant to wear that simple rose gold chain around my neck.

Yesterday I caught a clip of Sadie Robertson Huff speaking about Jesus. I actually admire her a lot, not necessarily for her appearances on the TV show Duck Dynasty, but her mission to spread the gospel and love of Jesus Christ. While I could not find the clip again or the exact quote, she discussed how we sometimes become numb in saying the fact that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. As seasoned church-goers and social media consumers, we may hear it so much that we lose sight of what it actually means. Huff went on to say that if God never does another thing for us, it is enough because He already sent His only son to die for US.

That hit me hard. As someone who was blessed with the opportunity to grow up in church hearing the gospel, I think we do get caught up in our own daily struggles and gloss over the beautiful verse young children are first taught in Sunday School.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

-John 3:16

May we all remember that if we never receive another blessing from our Creator, the verse above is enough, simply because it is and that is all we truly need to know. God loved us THAT much and opened the door for us to join Him in heaven one day.

I pray we continue to worship and sing the familiar songs of hymns and worship music, regardless of your side on which should be sung at church, but that we rest in the fact knowing and understanding the greatest gift of love and sacrifice God bestowed upon us: His son Jesus, dying on that old rugged cross for us. As believers, may we never gloss over those beautiful and true words, no matter how long we hear them. I pray John 3:16 and the symbol of the cross never becomes a cliché or numb to our hearts. It is more than enough, for you and for me.

I have included links to the song lyrics for “The Old Rugged Cross” and while I couldn’t find again the exact clip, a website link that was close to Sadie Huff’s message.

“The Old Rugged Cross”

Sadie Robertson Huff

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