Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Feast of the Holy Cross - Rector's Ramblings for 9/15/2013

Today as a second Collect we commemorate a very important Feast Day for the Church, which occurred yesterday.  On September 14, we celebrate The Feast of the Holy Cross.
Also known at the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, it is on this day that we commemorate several events surrounding the object of the Holy Cross.  One is the finding of the Cross itself, and the building, on the spot of the crucifixion, of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre by St. Helena, wife of the Roman Emperor Constantine.  Fr. Trent Fraser, formerly of Redeemer, Southfield, and now at St. Michael’s in Denver, also notes in a newsletter article he wrote, that “This feast commemorates the recovery of the Holy Cross from Persians by the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius in 627.  It also commemorates the day in 1241 when King Louis IX of France (St. Louis), brought the instruments of the Passion, together with a portion of the Holy Cross to Paris and began construction on the marvelous repository for the Cross, Sainte-Chapelle.”
All of these are wonderful historical events.  But there is something more wonderful: the reason that piece of wood is venerated.  The Cross is the vehicle used by God to offer His only begotten Son, the second person of the Trinity, to pay the price of our sins.
On the hard wood of the cross, Jesus Christ died that we may have forgiveness of our sins, reconciliation with God, and the gift of eternal life.
So, as we look to the feast of the Holy Cross, we do so not for the historic relic of wood or a reproduction of that cross hanging in our house, office or church, but for what was accomplished on the Cross by Jesus.
During the devotion of The Stations of the Cross, we repeat at each station a wonderful phrase, which is one everyone should memorize and offer up frequently during our busy days:
“We adore thee O Christ, and we bless thee; because by thy Holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world!”