In the Cross of Christ we glory

Posted by on Oct 5, 2014 in Pastor's Desk | No Comments

O Christ our God, Moses prefigured the salutary effects of your precious Cross when he defeated the haughty Amalek in the desert of Sinai, for while he extended his arms crosswise, the people were victorious.  All these symbols have now attained their perfection before our eyes: today, as the Cross is lifted up, evil spirits are cast away; today the whole creation is delivered from corruption, for all blessings have been bestowed upon us by the Cross.  Wherefore we joyfully kneel to You and say, how great are your works, O Lord, glory to You!  Joy to you, most honorable Cross of the Lord!  Through you, mankind has been relieved of the curse.  You are a sign of joy indeed, and of terror to our spiritual enemies; you are the help of Christians, the glory of kings, the strength of the just, the splendor of priests, a staff of power to your people and a source of peace.  Around you the angels gather in awe; you are the glory of Christ who grans great mercy to the world.  Joy to you, precious cross of the Lord.  Guide to the blind, physician to the sick and resurrection to all the dead.  You lifted us out of corruption and removed the curse; through you we have been made godly, and the power of hell has been destroyed in full.  Wherefore, seeing you today lifted up by our priests, we exalt Christ who was suspended on you and we bow deeply before you, seeking forgiveness and great mercy.  Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;  both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.

In the exaltation of the most precious, holy and life-giving Cross of Jesus, we see the glory and triumph of the Christian faith, created, sustained and spread by the preaching of Christ crucified.

  1. In the Cross, we see the glory of Christ
    1. A humble servant, obedient unto death.

The story is told of how the Byzantine emperor Heraclius defeated the king of Persia and returned the holy cross to Jerusalem in 628.  The head of the mighty Byzantine empire, arrayed with precious jewels and in formal imperial attire, carried the Cross to the door of the church where an invisible Hand stopped him.  Zachary, bishop of Jerusalem, said to him, ‘Beware, your Majesty!  These precious vestments and priceless jewels are the marks of human pride; this does not conform with the poverty of Jesus Christ nor with his humility in bearing the Cross.’  The Emperor immediately stripped himself of all his adornments, borrowed a simple cloak and walked barefoot to Goolgotha where he planted the Cross.      The faithful bowed their heads to the ground, saying, “We bow profoundly to Your Cross, O Christ, and we sing a hymn of glory to Your resurrection!”

  1. The power of God and the wisdom of God – the heart and secret of the Christian difference.
  1. In the Cross, we see the triumph of Christians
    1. Over sin and death, devil and hell
    2. True definition of love: make the sign of the holy cross!  “We’re going to take care of you!”