In the Cross of Christ I Glory

Bruce Menning

READ : 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

We proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. (v. 23)

Like most places today, the Christian Church in South Korea is not without its divisions. The fact is, there are more than 85 branches of the Presbyterian Church in South Korea alone, among its many other Protestant communions. Yet South Korea is perhaps only a reflection of the splintered global church today. The World Christian Encyclopedia indicates that currently there are thousands of Christian denominations in the world, and the number grows annually. The church, not the world, has torn the seamless robe of Christ and blunted its witness by disunity. It’s a scandal we don’t feel keenly enough.

In spite of whatever doctrinal or personality issues contributed to the fracturing of the body of Christ in South Korea, there is a visible tradition in every city and village which gives physical witness to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Every house of Christian worship, regardless of denominational affiliation, is crowned with a red cross. At night, for as far as one can see, the landscape sparkles with illuminated red crosses proclaiming with one voice that the blood of Christ covers the sins of all humanity, and that Jesus is the Light of the world.

Like most places today, the Christian Church in South Korea is not without its divisions. The fact is, there are more than 85 branches of the Presbyterian Church in South Korea alone, among its many other Protestant communions. Yet South Korea is perhaps only a reflection of the splintered global church today. The World Christian Encyclopedia indicates that currently there are thousands of Christian denominations in the world, and the number grows annually. The church, not the world, has torn the seamless robe of Christ and blunted its witness by disunity. It’s a scandal we don’t feel keenly enough.

In spite of whatever doctrinal or personality issues contributed to the fracturing of the body of Christ in South Korea, there is a visible tradition in every city and village which gives physical witness to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Every house of Christian worship, regardless of denominational affiliation, is crowned with a red cross. At night, for as far as one can see, the landscape sparkles with illuminated red crosses proclaiming with one voice that the blood of Christ covers the sins of all humanity, and that Jesus is the Light of the world.

PRAYER

Lord, may we never boast of anything except your cross. Overcome our unhappy divisions and make us one in faith and witness. Amen.