This cross standing before me has a history. The image is not unfamiliar — a Chi Rho cross, a basin on one arm to represent the image of foot washing. But this one has a history. It was created from the pews that once filled the Deaconess Hall chapel at Valparaiso University.
As the LDA celebrates its 100 years of serving, I’m reminded of the continuity represented in this cross. I can almost hear the songs sung in worship, the voices of students discerning their vocation as deaconesses, the laughter and hopefulness and passion for future ministry. While I never lived in Deaconess Hall, it is a part of my story too.
The continuity of the cross forms our foundation as Christians. When we gather around the communion table and worship under the cross, we are joined to the stories of those who have gathered before us for centuries. Our voices are joined to theirs in song, discerning our call to serve and living into the new life given to us in Christ’s death and resurrection. Through his cross, we are joined into one community as his body, sharing in the story of God’s redemptive plan for the world.
Prayer: By your cross, loving redeemer, crucify in me all evil desires and unbelief; By your unspotted righteousness, clothe me in your own self that I may be delivered to God forever; By your service to fallen humanity, lead me to serve you among the fallen of the earth; By your glorious resurrection from the dead, raise me to live with you forever. Amen. (excerpted from the Diaconal Litany)
Deaconess Debbie Rank Speer, Lisle, IL