Yesterday was The Feast of the Cross. It has different names:
- Greek – Raising Aloft of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross
- Latin – The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
- Sometimes – The Triumph of the Cross
- Other times – Feast of the Glorious Cross
There are festival days for the cross on which Jesus was crucified throughout the year – 13th/14th September, 12th October, 6th March, 3rd May and 1st August as well, of course, Good Friday. In the Orthodox tradition, every Wednesday and Friday hold commemorations of the cross.
I saw an interesting comment on an article recently, where someone said that Christianity didn’t begin and salvation didn’t start until Jesus resurrected. I thought it was an interesting take but wasn’t convinced. I have always thought of the resurrection and ascension as an affirmation of the divinity of Jesus, a way to reinforce the belief in him as the Messiah (fulfilment of prophecy etc.) but of the crucifixion as the more significant act. I couldn’t quite get my head around the comment that suggested it was less important than the resurrection.
If I feel like I need to reconnect with God on an emotional level, I will read the Passion in the Bible or watch a film like ‘Mary, Mother of God’ or ‘The Passion of the Christ’. Seeing the pain that Jesus suffered is often such an overwhelming experience that it engenders deep love and humility, even if just for a little while.
So, at this point in the year, a long time since/to Easter, stop and think of the cross. What an amazing display of unconditional love. If only we could learn to do the same.
The offering I would like to make to you today is the title track from my second album, ‘Can You Hear My Heart?’, which tells the story of the crucifixion from the perspective of a disciple watching on in despair. The question, repeated again and again, is a plea for comfort from the crucified Jesus. And at the end, the answer is given.