THURSDAY THE FOURTEENTH OF SEPTEMBER, 2017
* Holy Cross Day *
Lord, by your cross and resurrection, you have set us free.
You are the saviour of the world. Amen.
God forbid that I should glory,
save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
O cross of Christ, immortal tree
on which our saviour died,
the world is sheltered by your arms
that bore the crucified.
From bitter death and barren wood
the tree of life is made;
its branches bear unfailing fruit
and leaves that never fade.
O faithful cross, you stand unmoved
while ages run their course;
foundation of the universe,
creation’s minding force.
Give glory to the risen Christ
and to his cross give praise,
the sign of God's unfailing love,
the hope of all our days.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Holy Cross Day: the beautiful, terrible cross
Today Saint Laika’s celebrates "Holy Cross Day," sometimes known as "The Triumph of the Cross."
The story that has come down to us from history and legend is that Constantine, the first Roman emperor to profess Jesus Christ as lord, sent his mother Helena to Israel in the first decades of the fourth century, to discover the places that would have been sacred to the Christian people. It was there that she was supposed to have found preserved the true cross of Jesus, on the site which today houses the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The church was dedicated and opened for service on the fourteenth of September, 335 AD. Over time, the feast commemorating this day came to be seen as a counterpoint to Good Friday. It gave Christians a time to celebrate the triumph of the cross as a sign of God’s victory.
Malcolm Boyd had the occasion to write the following as a reflection on the cross. It comes from his book, “Are You Running with Me Jesus?”
"They've made the cross you hung on so pretty, Jesus.
I know the real cross wasn't pretty at all.
But I guess I understand why they want to make copies of it
out of fine woods and even semiprecious stones,
because you hung on it.
Yet doesn't this romanticise your death, Lord,
and give it a kind of gloss it didn't have?
Your death was bloody and dirty and very real.
Can't we face it that way, Jesus?
And can't we face the fact that you were a real man,
living a human life, as well as God?"
Scripture: In the sixth chapter of "Galatians" at the fourteenth verse, we read:
"May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."
... for peace in the world.
... for the executed and for all who are now on death row; for an end to capital punishment throughout the world; for an end to killing; for the end of death.
... for the victims of torture and for an end to the practice of torture.
... for the students and teachers who were killed or injured in a fire at a Islamic tahfiz school in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur. DETAILS
... for the eight residents of a Florida nursing home that was left without power for days after Hurricane Irma, who have died and for all elderly or infirm victims of the storm. DETAILS
... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.
... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
... for ourselves.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
From "The Imitation of Christ" by Thomas à Kempis:
Those who hear the word of the cross and follow it willingly now, need not fear that they will hear of eternal damnation on the day of judgment. This sign of the cross will be in the heavens when the Lord comes to judge. Then all the servants of the cross, who during life made themselves one with the crucified, will draw near with great trust to Christ, the judge.
Why, then, do you fear to take up the cross when through it you can win a kingdom? In the cross is salvation, in the cross is life, in the cross is protection from enemies, in the cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness, in the cross is strength of mind, in the cross is joy of spirit, in the cross is highest virtue, in the cross is perfect holiness. There is no salvation of soul nor hope of everlasting life but in the cross.
Take up your cross, therefore, and follow Jesus, and you shall enter eternal life. He himself opened the way before you in carrying his cross, and upon it he died for you, that you, too, might take up your cross and long to die upon it. If you die with him, you shall also live with him, and if you share his suffering, you shall also share his glory.
O God, who by the passion of your blessed son made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life and peace: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your son our saviour Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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