Thoughts on the Cross
Orthodox and Catholic Christians often make the sign of the cross by using their right hand to “draw” a cross upon their bodies.
The Exaltation of the Cross is one of the twelve great feasts in the Orthodox calendar (compare with the Invention of the Cross, celebrated in the Catholic Church on the 3rd of May).
However, in recent decades the cross has lost both its significance and meaning. People adorn themselves with crosses large and small alike be they Christian or not. All kinds of crosses – from beautiful to the downright grotesque – can be found in almost any shop that sells apparel today. How could this have come to be? The very symbol of our salvation has been degraded to a mere fashion accessory. Interestingly enough, it has not yet happened to the symbols of other religions. Do you see pendants shaped as the Star of David, crescent and star and/or wheels with eight spokes on the racks of department stores? I think not. Even if they are, they are not as readily available as crosses. What is this supposed to mean – being Christian is fashionable today? What about tomorrow then? This is not what Christianity is about! The reason true Christians have donned crosses and crucifixes around their necks are to remind themselves of our Lord’s sacrifice and His words to “take up the cross” and not because a cross made our necks look good.
With that in mind, let us celebrate the full significance of the victory of the cross over the powers of the world, and the triumph of the wisdom of God through the cross over the triumph of the world. Relish the full glory of the cross as a source of light, hope and victory for the people of Christ.