The forecast was terrible. 80km winds and heavy rain. But we took the 4hr drive from Auckland anyway. State Highway 1 to Route 10. Then just past Kerikeri it is right onto Kapiro Rd and then left on to Purerua Rd and then finally another left onto Rangihoua Rd. A 25min walk down through a classic Kiwi valley and suddenly out onto the beach and then looking back at this.
It is Marsden Cross. It is the site of the first sermon preached in New Zealand - by Samuel Marsden on Christmas Day, 1814.
No rain. No wind. Just a beautiful setting sun.
Marsden preached from Luke 2:10. "Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy which shall be to all people." Later Marsden was to write in his Journal. "In this manner the gospel was introduced into New Zealand. I fervently pray that the glory of it may never depart from its inhabitants, till time shall be no more."
There remains a place for pilgrimage in the Christian life. Trips to this Marsden Cross is as good as it gets in New Zealand. I delight in the way it nestles in among Kiwi bush and Kiwi beach and Kiwi farmland and Kiwi rolling hills ... and then such a stark and simple cross. I'll be back - again and again.