John spoke at Cherry Tree Court about the cross of inclusion. So often we get upset if ‘Christmas’ is abbreviated to ‘Xmas’, feeling that this is disrespectful to Christ, omitting Him from the festivities when the season is ultimately all about Him. However, far from being an omission or exclusion, ‘X’ carries with it many connotations which pertain to Christ.

The Cross of Discovery: ‘X’ often marks the spot on a treasure map and Jesus reminded us in Matt 13:44-46 that the kingdom of God is like hidden treasure, like the merchant who finds a pearl of high value and sells everything to acquire this pearl. Col 2:3 reminds us that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ; He is the source of all treasure.

The Cross of Selection: When we vote in elections, our choices are marked with an ‘X’ on the ballot paper. Jesus reminds us that He has chosen us (John 15:6). We are chosen and beloved!

The Cross of Multiplication: In mathematics, ‘X’ is the sign of multiplication and God’s grace, love, blessing and mercy have been multiplied to us in abundance.

The Cross of the Unknown: ‘X’ is also used to indicate something unknown; if we don’t know someone’s identity, for example, we call them ‘Mr X’. In Acts 17, Paul preaches to the Greeks in Athens and speaks of their altar to an unknown God. Jesus makes God known to us; ‘anyone who has seen me has seen the Father’. (John 14:9)

The Cross of Affection: We use ‘xxx’ as a symbol of affection, as a sign of kisses. In this context, ‘X’ is the symnbol of love and God is love (1 John 4:8), demonstrating this in the fact that He sent Jesus to die for us and rescue us from sin. (John 3:16)

The Cross of Error: In schools, work is often marked with a tick when it is correct and with ‘X’ when it is not. It can seem depressing to get things wrong, but ultimately we have all sinned and gone away from God, and it is this recognition of wrongdoing which is needed before we can turn back to God in repentance and be saved. This is not something negative in the long run!

The Cross of Calvary: Jesus came ultimately to die on a cross for the sins of the world. All the other blessings previously symbolised by an ‘X’ are only available becuase of this cross. Jesus came to reveal that cross to us and through His death on the cross we are saved.