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

Monday, September 15, 2014

Holy Cross Sunday - Rector's Rambling for September 14, 2014

We adore thee O Christ, and we bless thee; because by thy Holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.

Today is not only Sunday, it is also The Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14).  This Feast day goes back to the year 335, when the church built over the place of our Lord’s Crucifixion and His Resurrection was dedicated on this date in that year.
The empress Helena, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine, directed the excavations of the site, buried when the Roman City of Aelia Capitolina was built over the ruins of Jerusalem.  During that excavation what was believed to be the true Cross was believed to be found.
But more important than that holy place and holy object is the reality of why that Cross was holy!  It is holy because upon it was hanged the body of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Upon that Cross Jesus bled and died not as a criminal or one unjustly condemned, but to pay the price for our sins, the propitiation, the atonement, that frees us from eternal death!
As by the tree Adam transgressed and we inherited that original sin, so by this tree (the Cross) we are justified by Jesus!
It is said that St. Bonaventure, the great Franciscan Theologian, spent more time meditating on a crucifix (Cross with a representation of the Body of Jesus on it) then he did reading and writing, because the cross was his inspiration for that writing.  And although we have mostly sanitized the idea of a cross by making it of pretty metals and wearing it as jewelry, it is to our advantage to spend time meditating upon its crude, rough hewn reality, and to think of how Jesus died upon it to pay the price for our (for MY) sins.
Let us look with love upon the cross, and thank God for his sacrifice made for us, and for the whole world!