The True Cross

24 Sep

This coming week in Ethiopia there is another very important holiday observed and celebrated by Orthodox Christians.  Second only to Timket, is Meskel, or Finding the True Cross.  It is celebrated on Wednesday and part of the celebration is a big bonfire commemorating the fire first set by Empress Helena.  Tradition has it that the drifting smoke led her on a search to find the cross of Jesus Christ.  As she followed the smoke she discovered a site where she dug and found three crosses.  The pieces of one of these crosses was attributed to have had power to perform many miracles.  The Orthodox church has many traditions like this that have been passed along from generation to generation.

Even though most of us have not been raised to adhere to the belief in the powers associated with relics, there is something to be gained by thinking of and searching for the cross of Jesus Christ spiritually.  Our journey of faith starts there at the foot of that cross.  Many sincere souls have searched for a deeper meaning in the cross of Christ, some have found it without searching.  Many times that cross is accompanied by hardship and trials and persecution.  Always it is accompanied with joy and with the power of the Holy Spirit’s presence in the believer’s life.

It is believed that one of the “miracles” associated with the original pieces of the cross was that people appearing before it were exposed in physical nakedness.  This humbling experience was too big of a miracle to tolerate so the relic was buried in a tomb in an Ethiopian monastery.

Each soul that kneels before the true cross in his heart is exposed to the truth of God’s word.  Our masks are stripped away.  We appear before God with no spiritual adornment.  Only the blood of Christ to cover our sin.  And in “A Beautiful Exchange” Christ takes the  nakedness of our flesh and clothes it in glorious power and shares hope with our hearts.  May we each have a good Meskel celebrating our true cross of Jesus Christ.

2 Responses to “The True Cross”

  1. Johney & Mekdes September 26, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful story of our culture. It is very impressive! It is a special word to us from your post “…A BEAUTIFUL EXCHANGE” that did by Christ; takes the nakedness of our flesh and clothes it in glorious power and shares his blessed hope with our hearts.
    You are in our prayer! “ጌታ ይባርካችሁ”-“God Bless You”
    Johney & Mekdes

  2. Andrew Stoller September 27, 2011 at 2:25 am #

    Thanks for the encouragement, Dad!

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