Since my paternal grandparents came from East Prussia, I was anxious to read this story that I found. It said that early in the nineteenth century, the King of Prussia, Frederick William III, found his nation in great trouble. He had been attempting to bring prosperity to his land, but constant wars had drained the treasury. After prayerful consideration, he wrote an open letter to the women of Prussia asking them voluntarily to bring their silver and gold to be melted down.

He offered a small token of appreciation to anyone who contributed. In exchange for their jewelry, he gave them a simple cross made of iron. It was inscribed, “I gave gold for iron, 1813.” The response was overwhelming. The women of Prussia prized the gift from the king more highly than they had prized their former possessions. Women wore the iron cross with pride. In fact, gold jewelry became unfashionable. The Order of the Iron Cross was established, and members wore no ornaments save a cross of iron for all to see.

Today, we need an order of people who are committed to the King of Kings: people who will sacrifice for God’s kingdom, people who esteem God’s favor more than the admiration of friends and strangers. In the third century, Bishop Cyprian of Carthage said, “Their property held them in chains which shackled their courage and choked their faith and hampered their judgment and throttled their souls. If they had stored up their treasure in heaven, they would not be enslaved as they are to their own property. They are not the masters of their money, but its slaves.1

Jesus said: “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”2 So if you treasure the cross of Christ, it will be worth more to you than anything this world can offer. Unfortunately, some have traded in their cross for things that make them more comfortable and more accepted by the world. But for others, they still have unconditional love for old rugged cross. – Dr. Robert R Seyda

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.3

St. Cyprian’s Newsletter, October 2016

Matthew 6:21

The Old Rugged Cross: Words and Music by George Bennard 1913

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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