The people closest to me know just how much of a rock nerd I am. I am quite taken with all sorts of rocks and minerals, and love educating others about the magnificent transformation process these rocks go through deep within the earth. I was even a geology major during my brief time at the University of Idaho. The way these dull little stones recycle themselves into new and amazing pieces of natural wonder is truly a marvelous feature of God’s creation. Firey volcanic rocks that ooze from cracks in the crust, or get blasted into the sky and then fall back to earth, slowly get worn down into dust and dirt by wind and water. The finer particles clump together or get cemented in place through the actions of rivers, lakes, and oceans. New rocks are then formed from the waters, but as the earth’s tectonic plates continue to slowly move, both of these rock types get sucked deep underground again. Intense heat and pressure acts like an oven cooking both of these kinds of rocks, until after being stretched and warped they return to the earth’s surface as a brand new rock type. These three rock types are called igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. Three different types, but together they make up the world we live on. (No coincidence that a trinity from the earth mirrors the trinity in heaven.) It is truly an amazing process if you stop and think about it.
God can be seen in every aspect of our world, nature included. Many times I have seen a simple tree, rock, or cave that have been modified into something that either reflects God’s love for us, or has been literally transformed in order to become a tool that is used directly by our Lord. How many amazing saints made their home in a hole within the earth? Not to mention those who stayed atop rocks or trees or pillars in order to become closer to God. He doesn’t just use people to spread his word, he uses the entirety of creation. He takes everything, good and bad, and uses it in a way that gives glory back to Him.
On this special feast day, I would like to talk about a piece of wood that was transformed from being an instrument of death, into a symbol of the resurrection, and of God’s love for us all: the cross.
September 14th (27th for old calendar) is a major feast day celebrated across the Christian liturgical community in commemoration and exaltation of the Holy and life giving cross. It was on this day in 325AD that Saint Helen, mother of Constantine the Great, found the true cross near Golgotha. She actually found three crosses that day. Two which belonged to the thieves, and one belonging to Christ. It’s been said that to identify which cross belonged to the lord, Saint Helen had a terminally ill woman kiss each of the tree crosses, and upon kissing the True Cross, she was instantly healed! Even more amazing is the fact that a funeral procession was passing by at that moment, and when the body of the dead man was placed upon the true cross, he sprang back to life and onto his feet! Through Christ’s passion, an instrument of death and shame was transformed into something that instead of offering death, now offers eternal life. It also provides proof for every Christian around the world that the promise of resurrection is real, and is waiting for us all.
Christ asks us to be transformed in him. To pick up our own cross and follow him. To open our eyes to everything around us, because after all… if God is everywhere and present in everything, are we doing our due diligence to open our eyes and see?
Thanks for reading my friends, have a great rest of your weekend, and I’ll see you next time.
Before Thy cross, we bow down in worship, O Master, and Thy holy resurrection, we glorify”.