Mesquite cross by Margaret Bailey, polymer clay quatrefoil by Nancy Denmark
The theme of this cross is about our relationship with our Lord as the "sheep of his pasture" and our own call to "feed his sheep" by taking the gospel to the ends of the earth.
The shepherd's crook, reminds us that Christ is the Good Shepherd, and can be a symbol of pastoral care received as well as given.
Wheat represents Jesus as the Bread of Life and the harvest reaped from sowing the Gospel. Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst."
The quatrefoil is an evocative or suggestive cross, as opposed to an obvious cross. In historic Christianity, the four petals of the quatrefoil represented the four evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John who wrote the Gospels. They can also represent the "four ends of the earth," or North, East, South and West, serving as a symbol of our call to take the gospel to the corners of the world, or ends of the earth. A quatrefoil is constructed with four equal foils or lobes, representing equal proportion and symmetry. Each foil is balanced and round, suggesting wholeness and harmony. It doesn't protrude or intrude, it fills and includes, it is whole. It is a symbol of inclusivity. It can be a symbol of global communion, global oneness. Lacking sharp external edges, it can remind us that somehow, our faith walk and that of others must co-exist compatibly, to proclaim the truths of our own tradition without hard edges or harsh boundaries.
"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me" John 10:14
"We are his people and the sheep of his pasture." Psalm 100:3
"feed my sheep," says Jesus. John 21:16
"And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding." Jer. 3:15
These passages not only paint the image of Christ being our own Shepherd, leader, and caretaker, but also reinforce our pastoral responsibility to shepherd others by taking His spiritual food out into the world, sowing the Gospel.
I designed this quatrefoil cross in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Dallas, TX. See special projects to read about the design influences.