It is a symbol like no other, and it elicits strong responses. "I like how no matter what denomination of Christianity you're in, we all share the cross." See images of crosses from across the United Methodist connection.
Listen as United Methodist youth openly share their personal impressions of the cross and its role within their own faith journeys. Also the Rev. Carol Cavin-Dillon talks about the origins of the cross within the Christian faith as a whole. Comfort, love, pride, holiness—what does the cross mean to YOU?
(Locator: Franklin, TN)
Marigrace Rogers: The cross kind of makes me feel holy inside, even though I'm not perfect. But whenever I look into Jesus' face or look at the cross, it makes me feel like he'll forgive anything.
Sam Hagewood: When I see a cross, it makes me feel safe. It lets me know there's a community around of loving and caring people, and I can feel connected to them almost immediately because of the faith that we share.
The Rev. Carol Cavin-Dillon: I think one of the first symbols for Christians was the fish, but the cross became the central symbol for Christians very early on in the church partly because it was the sign of what God had done for all humankind. I mean, what Jesus did on the cross and being raised from the dead is the very heart of our faith.
As I've studied how the Romans used the cross, it was really meant for slaves, for the lowest members of society…it was a way of humiliating someone as well as killing them.
God took that awful thing, and redeemed it. And it became a symbol of hope for Christians in their earliest days together, and that's what it really is, is a sign of redemption.
Graham Lovell: The cross, to me, is like a symbol of God obviously, but it means peace. It makes me feel safe, and it just makes me remember all the stuff that Jesus went through for us.
Grant Marsh: I have like a cross picture on my phone, and I'll just look at that sometimes and it'll help me.
Jacob Thompson: It makes me feel like there are lots of other people who have the same beliefs that I do who are around me in the community. It makes me feel less alone.
The Rev. Carol Cavin-Dillon: The power of our faith is that he was raised from the dead, and the cross is empty now. But it's a sign that God suffers with us, that when we suffer has human beings, God is not detached, looking coldly from a distance. But God has suffered in the deepest ways through humankind, and anytime we suffer God is with us and is working to redeem us.
Laura Higgins: I think it kind of makes me feel proud.
Mackenzie Fazenbaker: To me, it means like probably comfort. And whenever I see crosses, it just like reminds me of God's love and everything.
Rachel Phillips: I like how no matter what denomination of Christianity you're in, we all share the cross.
Photographs for this desktop meditation were taken by United Methodist News Service photographers and photographers from various United Methodist conferences.
Learn more about United Methodist beliefs.