I am part of a small team that has sought to find ways of telling the Christian story in Southend Town Centre. A few years back we took over an empty shop for Holy Week and installed a form of the Stations of the Cross. Last year we sought again to tell the Easter story through a series of framed bits of art that we placed in different locations across the Town Centre. This year we commissioned 5 local artists to design a cross. We then produced 500 small crosses and we dropped them all over the town centre for anyway to find a take away.
The five cross designs was a fascinating way to how others see the cross. I'm not sure what each of the artists was intending, but these are my reflections.
This first cross is imprinted with a compass. I see this in two ways. First, the cross is that which stands radiating out across the world - north, south, east, west. Second, the cross is the compass of the Christian life, it is how the church seeks to orientate its life.
This second cross is imprinted with flowers. I see these flowers either as about to flower or in the process of withering away. The cross is both death and life. It perhaps captures something of St. Paul's words to the church in Corinth that 'we always carry around in our body the death of Jesus … death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.'
This cross reminds me of a rainbow and so the promise God makes Noah to never flood the earth again. It is a promise of commitment to all creation. The cross also contains across it a line of thorns, and so saying that God is making a new promise now in the death of Jesus, a new covenant. A new promise, a new covenant that confirms the promise to Noah and at the same time dealing with the human propensity to sin.