Taking Up The Cross

Published 12:21 pm Monday, April 5, 2010

Lester Jenkins, a member of Calvary Baptist Church in SilverCreek, carried his cross through Lawrence County toward theJefferson Davis County line Friday as a tribute to Jesus’ trek tothe cross.

“Christ saved me, so I just wanted to do a little bit to showhow I feel about Him,” he said.

For the fourth year now, Lawrence County residents have taken uptheir cross and walked the 16.5-mile length of the county. Jenkinswas one of the group.

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David Martin, who has been a participant every year so far, saidthe idea came to a group at Monticello Baptist Church, and quicklybecame a project among many of the churches in the county.

“We’re just trying to draw attention to what Jesus did on theVia Dolorosa when He was going to be crucified,” Martin said.

At first, organizers were somewhat tentative. The first yearthey weren’t sure how it was going to go, but it went better thancould have been imagined, he said.

“We prayed about it right up until the day we went, then just tomake sure, we just let the Bible open up, and it said, ‘Take upyour cross,'” he said, adding that that encouragement wasdefinitely more than enough.

Martin said the trek starts each year around 8 a.m. and isusually finished a little after lunch. And as people pass eachyear, they definitely respond to the sight of people in ones andtwos carrying the cross down the highway.

“We get a lot of good response from truck drivers and peopleworking on the road, or people on the road, and the truck driversblow their horns,” Martin said. “We get a whole lot of goodresponse along the way.”

People of all ages, men and women pull the cross on the journey,he said. Not only is it open to all churches, it’s open to anyonewho just wants to be a part of honoring Jesus on the day Hedied.

“It’s for anyone that believes that Jesus is the Messiah andthat the Bible is God’s word, all it takes to take up the cross,”he said. “There are so many different churches involved. I wouldn’tthink it would be right to name just one church.”

Martin said there are worries each year, which in retrospect endup funny since God provides the way to make the walk work everytime.

“We realize if the Lord wants us to do it, He’ll provide usenough strength or people to do it. But even after four years ofpeople doing it and Him providing for us, we still worry … likewhat if it rains, what if it this, what if it that,” he said. “ButI think the Lord wants us to do it.”

And for next year, Martin said there are other goals, too.

“We’re going to do it next year, some young people that havecaught on and they’re going to get involved,” he said. “Plus, we’dlove to have someone leaving from the Lincoln County side, headedacross until they could get on the Franklin County line.”