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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Charm or Charter?"

March 28, 2006

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For the message of 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

As presented on *The Lutheran Hour® by Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, April 12, 1981.

The cross has become one of the most common symbols of our day. But what does it mean? Is it a charm, as many people seem to treat it, or is it a charter to an especially satisfying way of life?

I’ve noticed that some people today wear little crosses made of nails around their necks. It’s a little closer to the real cross. I like a simple cross, for the most part, one that says something about crucifixion and resurrection at the same time. It is a sign of remembrance that Christ died for our sins and was raised again from the dead, commanding our faith.

The cross of Christ is not just a symbol, it is a charter for life. It is human cruelty and human sin turned by the power of God into divine grace and forgiveness working their way into the hearts of people. It represents a real demonstration in real life of the power of God.

By God’s power, Christ died on that cross for the sins of the world. By the power of God, the sins of people are forgiven. By the power of God, people are raised again from death to life. By the power of God, things happen in this world of ours—things that only God could do!

That’s the meaning of the cross of Christ.

By Your cross, Lord Christ, forgive our sins. Enter our hearts, renew our minds, take hold of our hands, and guide our feet into ways of peace. Amen.

Taken from A Message of Hope: Proclaiming the Cross (selections from messages broadcast on *The Lutheran Hour, celebrating 75 years of proclaiming the promise).

Copyright © 2006 by Lutheran Hour Ministries

*The Lutheran Hour is the longest-running Christian radio broadcast in the world. It is a production of Lutheran Hour Ministries. For more information, visit

Today's Bible Readings: Deuteronomy 11-13    Luke 4:31-44

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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