Dear Moms and Dads,

People wear a cross on necklaces, sport one on bumper stickers and even slap one across a t-shirt. But, what does the cross really stand for? What does it mean? Recently, on Wednesday nights, we have been trying to look at the cross in a different way…in a way that moves beyond gratitude and nostalgia to a way of life. The cross teaches us that we live so we can die, and we die so we can live.

The following is a summary of the Bible study sessions:

Session 1: Most of us think of the cross as the place where Jesus died for us. That is true. But it’s also about more than that. The cross isn’t just the place where Jesus died. The cross is the place where we die too. It’s not just an event that happened thousands of years ago. It’s an ongoing part of being a follower of Jesus. I am challenging our students to discover the ongoing, sacrificial life Jesus called His disciples to lead—a life characterized by the cross…dying to our own desires to live for His.

Session 2: If the cross is where we come to die, then how do we live? Because the cross is not the end of the story. There is also an empty tomb. The cross isn’t just about death, it’s about life. We die to something, but we also live as well. After all, Jesus says: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10 NIV). I am challenging our students to not settle for a half-life, but a life that is full.

Dying to something you want…that’s what I am talking to your kids about during  this series, but if you are a parent, it’s something you know very well. Parenthood is all about dying to yourself.

It’s dying to your plans when a child gets sick the day of your dinner plans.

It’s dying to your wants when that son who seems to never stop growing needs yet another new pair of shoes—and you make do with the old pair you’ve had for a few years.

It’s dying to your need for love when you say or do the hard thing for your child, knowing that a valuable lesson will be learned but that he or she will hate you in the process.

Parenthood is a constant process of putting someone’s needs before your own.

And because of that, I just want to say, “Thank you.” Thank you for making the hard decisions. Thank you for sacrificing your time. Thank you for working hard to provide for your family. Thank you for all the things you do, the decisions you make daily to die to your own list of wants and desires in order to help someone else. Thank you for being an example to your child of what it means to die to yourself—even if he or she is clueless about all the ways you do it.

(Some day, your child will realize it. Trust me.)

:: This Wednesday night, we will finish up in a memorable way. But, in order for it to have the most impact possible, you student needs to do some work ahead of time. They need to complete the instructions on the blog entry, “*the cross :: home xp.”