Reflection for the week 14 January 2018

X marks the Spot

In stories about hidden treasure there is often a map to show where the concealed valuables may be found and the location is indicated by an X.  The precision of the map may come in doubt as the story unfolds but once interest is kindled we can become determined to keep looking.

But we use X as a symbol of love and kisses in letters and cards.  In bygone days some letters travelled by short cuts between places on different post roads and these "Cross Posts" were often marked with an X; this saved time and postage in an era when postage varied according to the distance a letter travelled.

So teachers may still use an X to mark a sum wrongly calculated or a word mis-spelt?

When we want to find our way out of a building or a car park we look for "EXIT" signs.  When the Israelites were in slavery in Egypt they appealed to God and he sent Moses to lead them to the Promised Land and the story is told in the book of Exodus.  The Bible goes on to tell how God acted again and again to bring relief to the people he loved.

We celebrate the birth of God's son at Bethlehem and the gifts of the Magi foretell of his kingship, his dedication and sacrifice all intended to provide for folk here in re-generated Wokingham an exodus from all that enslaves us in the twenty-first century.  The baby in the crib became the suffering servant on the cross so that through his sacrifice we might find an exit from all that hinders our devoted service to him.  We abbreviate Christmas to Xmas but for us this is the X that marks the spot where Christian love meets Community need.

Malcolm Ray-Smith