Thursday, September 11, 2014

Holy Cross

I don't exactly remember how many years ago it was that I went on a retreat to Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, Virginia. Maybe it was five or so. I went in early December, the first days of the season of Advent. The abbey is situated on many acres of beautiful land along a meandering stretch of the Shenandoah River. I arrived there on a cold and crisp Friday evening. When I woke the next morning, I discovered that a fresh blanket of snow, several inches thick, had tucked us in for a prayerful time away.

In the midst of the busy-ness of life, I often find myself retreating to this memory of stillness, quiet, and calm. This is especially helpful when confronted with what seems to be relentless occasions for distraction. You know how easy it is to feel the need to react and respond to the latest and loudest. We tend to so quickly set aside proactivity at the expense of the moment. At least, I confess, I do.

What is called for is a measure of intentionality.

This coming Sunday the church observes Holy Cross Day. This tradition traces its origin to the year 335. Although, that may be interesting, its not the point here. What is the point, I suggest, is that Holy Cross Day provides us with a fitting and timely opportunity to be intentional. We need to be deliberate about the centrality of the cross of Christ in both our individual and corporate lives. 

Holy Cross Day is an occasion for us to consider what Luther referred to as the theology of the cross, the divinely-chosen way of humility and service, of suffering and death as the path to life and salvation.

In the meantime, consider how you could grow spiritually by being more intentional about your faith and your engagement in and support of the life and calling of the community of faith. How could you move deeper? How will we move deeper?

Holy Cross Day
September 14

Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross 
so that he might draw the whole world to himself.
To those who look upon the cross, 
grant your wisdom, healing, and eternal life, 
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and forever. Amen

Numbers 21:4b-9
Psalm 98:1-4
1 Corinthians 1:18-24
John 3:13-17

1 comment:

  1. I think that it comes from the sister of Constantine allegedly finding the true cross in Jerusalem during a tour she made of the area in 335. Who knows if it's true?
    But it is a good day to celebrate the theology of the cross as Luther described it...It helped me so much when caring for a parent with Alzheimer's to know that what we were experiencing was not without value and that God would never leave us or forsake us. So often caring for the elderly or handicapped children is considered a waste; I consider it one of the best of my times---not easy, and often not happy, but worthwise
    Dan from Lebanon, a friend of your parents Nancy & Tim.