A second, and arguably even more scriptural, reason, to mark the feast of the Holy Cross is that it places prayer around, or at the foot of thr cross, at the centre of our life today. What a difference that can make! As an example, I still remember my first year in Toowoomba, after the trials of the floods and the struggles of a parish trying to find its feet again in other ways. At this very time of year, Brothers from the Taize Community came to lead prayer among us. In the midst of our worship time, they laid a large Taize-style cross in the centre of St Luke’s, inviting others to pray around it. For me, it was the turning point in our parish’s journey from past dysfunction to spiritual health. Indeed, whenever I would begin to despair of anything in the parish, I would recall that evening and the mark of the cross and its redemption which it laid at the heart of the Church.
In that same spirit, a third, and arguably most pressing, reason for the feast of the Holy Cross is connecting us more deeply with the suffering Church. For as we remember the suffering of Christ, and that of martyrs in the past, so our hearts, minds and souls may be more closely united with the sufferings and martyrdoms of our own days. Indeed, when the emperor Heraclius recovered the true cross, his intention was to carry it to Jerusalem himself. He could only do so however when he took off his imperial garb and became a barefoot pilgrm with others. So may the broadening of our faith connections and the deepening of our understanding of the cross of Christ at the centre of lives thus result in fruits of mercy and compassion for all. In the name of the Crucified, Resurrected and Ascended One, Amen.
by Jo Inkpin, for the Feast of the Holy Cross, Thursday 14 September 2017