Cross Run: A Messiah College Easter tradition

Every holiday has it’s meaning.  For Christians Easter is about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  In the Bible it says Jesus died so that mankind’s sins could be forgiven.  It’s a powerful story that people all over the world tell and celebrate every year.  At Messiah College they do things a little different.

Several years ago Aaron Faro, an assistant soccer coach and Director of Aroma missions at Messiah pitched an idea he learned while working at a camp in Chicago.  The idea was called “Cross Run.”  Essentially a group of athletes work together carrying a cross to better understand what Jesus went through.  A physical activity that was also spiritual.  The Cross Run has become a special tradition at Messiah.  They hold them several times a year before mission trips, but the event takes on extra significance at Easter.

This year on Holy Thursday about 30 male athletes from various sports gathered on campus before sunrise.  They carried five crosses across the campus and through the woods.  Along the way they stopped to reflect, read bible verses, and take communion.  After three miles, they were pushed to their physical brink, but Faro and the runs organizers had a surprise.  They could drop their cross, thanks to Jesus their weight had been lifted.  The group ran to the top of a hill just outside campus, bonded thanks to a unique Easter tradition.

So what’s next for the Cross Run?  Faro says they want to keep the focus on the Easter story and what it really means.  So there’s no plans to up the ante to the extreme.  He admits they like to make the run difficult.  It’s about having the physical enhance the spiritual but reflecting is most important.

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