Come to the Cross: An invitation and a story

Written by Steve Brooks

This is a personal invitation for you to come to the cross, both literally and spiritually. On Good Friday at 8:45 a.m. Restoration Anglican Church will do something new – we will have a “Procession of the Cross” from our house to the church. (See details below.) It is a one-mile journey that I have dreamed of for years and everyone is invited to participate.

Here is a little context and history as to what we are doing and why. Over the course of Restoration’s history, I have built five crosses for the church. Three of these crosses are currently used by Restoration full-time, one stands in my backyard (which we use on Good Friday) and the last one was retired a few years ago. I have a passion for making crosses. David and Matt have been very kind to let me apply my passion through cross making for our church.


With that said, we need to get the Easter cross to church. And why not do this in a way that bestows the reverence the cross deserves and process with it in remembrance of how Jesus was forced to carry the cross on which he died so that our sins would be forgiven.

The procession will take about 45 minutes, and once we arrive at the church, we will lay the cross down in the sanctuary and everyone will be invited to nail your sins to the cross. There will be paper, pens, hammers and nails provided.

Prior to the service on Friday night the cross will be raised up with all the sins upon it and then at the end of the service the cross is removed in silence. On Saturday night, the cross is set up outside of the church and we remove the sins and burn them in the fire-pit before we enter for the Easter Vigil service. It is amazing.

So please – come to the cross.

I also invite you to come to another cross: the big one at the front of the sanctuary. Most people don’t make it past the communion rail, so please accept this invitation, too. This cross arrived last Easter and was a year behind schedule. When I first started building it for Easter 2015, a worktable collapsed and broke one of my knuckles. It took some time for my hand to heal before I could begin work again. It was a spiritual journey working on this cross, and I am grateful for how God worked through and in me in so many ways: That’s a whole other blog post.

As you come to the cross I invite you to touch it. The vertical section is made from 60-year-old Canadian red pine that came from a house renovation and the cross piece is a red oak beam that supported a tobacco barn in Richmond, Virginia that was built in 1910. Although they are different woods, the “red wood” was chosen specifically to represent the blood of Christ.

On both sides of the vertical section you will see 57 holes that have been filled with oak dowels – these filled holes represent our sins that have been forgiven. On the front of the vertical piece you will see two in-laid oak lines and one open cut that go from the top to the bottom of the cross. The oak in-lay comes from the original wooden cross that now hangs in the rafters at the back of the church. Have you noticed it? The in-lay represents the beauty of our forgiven sins, and the open cut in the middle represents the brokenness of humanity which will last until Christ returns and restores us fully.

The giant crack in the oak cross piece is faced forward for all to see as it represents the humanity of Christ and the brokenness he endured on Good Friday. When I saw it for the first time I knew it had to be the cross piece. Oak is one of the hardest woods and I find it amazing that it cracked as it did, what stress it must have been under. As I shaped this piece of wood I was reminded over and over again that God sent His only Son to live, be broken and die for our forgiveness.

I also invite you to come to another cross, the one that hangs in the rafters at the back of the church. This cross was hung in the sanctuary from 2010-2016 and moved last year. Although you can’t see the details of this cross (but check out the picture), it is a beautiful red oak beam from a Pennsylvania barn that was built in 1830. It is unique in so many ways with a history that is unknown. It hangs in the rafters as a representation that when we leave church every Sunday, we leave with the cross of Christ.

Finally, you are invited to visit the small processional cross that stands in the front right corner of the sanctuary – we used this cross at Restoration’s first service. It became the processional cross to lead the kids to their small groups and is now used at various times throughout the year. The red oak is from Home Depot, not much of a story there. The cross stand is made of leftover brick and Canadian red pine which were used to build our church.

Working with wood is more than a labor of love for me, it is a true blessing, especially in making a cross. While working, I play loud music, talk to God, pray and listen for His response. In these times of quiet I think about who I am, why I am here and I always ask God, “What do You want me to do next?” In these moments of “making,” I think about how God restores us in all things. His restoration goes beyond a few cuts here and there, some sanding, then oil and a final finish. His restoration brings us back to life. I can’t do that with an old barn beam, but He does it with us – it’s His promise.

My last invitation is for you to come to the cross and find Christ in a new way, find His restoration and know that no matter what, He loves you.

If you want to participate in the “Procession of the Cross” – send me an email and I will give you our address. brooks{at}

Written by Steve Brooks