The Sign of the Cross - 18 February 2016

How's Lent Everybody? Hopefully the journey has been great so far.
I started embarking on this programme today known as "A Biblical Walk Through the Mass" with the Little Rock Bible Ministry.
Summary:
- Liturgy & its relations to Scripture
- 4 Parts: Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, Concluding Rites
I was finishing up the first part of my self-study on the Introductory Rites when I stumbled upon something which has definitely deepened my understanding on this important thing which we always do but might take for granted.
The Sign of the Cross. We do it all the time, too many to even count, and it has been done this way even from the time of the early Apostles. In fact, how the early followers did it can be described with the words of the Theologian Tertullian:
"In all our travels and movements, in all our coming in and going out, in putting on our shoes, at the bath, at the table, in lighting our candles, in lying down, in sitting down, whatever employment that occupies us, we mark our foreheads with the sign of the crosses."
However, this tradition can also be traced back to the time of the prophet Ezekiel, where it was considered a mysterious sign. The background can be found in Ezekiel 8:9-18, which says:
9 He said to me, "Go in, and see the vile abominations that they are committing here." 10 So I went in and looked; there, portrayed on the wall all around, were all kinds of creeping things, and loathsome animals, and all the idols of the house of Israel. 11 Before them stood seventy of the elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah son of Shaphan standing among them. Each had his censer in his hand, and the fragrant cloud of incense was ascending. 12 Then he said to me, "Mortal, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of images? For they say, "The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.' " 13 He said also to me, "You will see still greater abominations that they are committing." 14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the Lord; women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz. 15 Then he said to me, "Have you seen this, O mortal? You will see still greater abominations than these." 16 And he brought me into the inner court of the house of the Lord; there, at the entrance of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs to the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east, prostrating themselves to the sun toward the east. 17 Then he said to me, "Have you seen this, O mortal? Is it not bad enough that the house of Judah commits the abominations done here? Must they fill the land with violence, and provoke my anger still further? See, they are putting the branch to their nose! 18 Therefore I will act in wrath; my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; and though they cry in my hearing with a loud voice, I will not listen to them."
The Lord then gave this instruction to the Prophet in Ezekiel 9: 3-6
3 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house. The Lord called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his side; 4 and said to him, "Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of those who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it." 5 To the others he said in my hearing, "Pass through the city after him, and kill; your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity. 6 Cut down old men, young men and young women, little children and women, but touch no one who has the mark. And begin at my sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were in front of the house.
Notice verse 4. The mark on "those who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it. (Jerusalem)" The mark was represented by the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, tahv, which had the shape of an "X" or a cross.
People who had this mark were then saved from the Babylonian destruction.
Now, link back to the New Testament. The Christian Sign of the Cross. Now how does this link?
The Link can be found in these verses:
Matthew 18:20
John 14:13
Philippians 2: 9-11
The Sign of the cross can be powerful. It can invoke, and it can glorify the Name of the Lord.
But I guess ultimately, we make the sign of the cross as a constant reminder that we are chasing true happiness, which is manifested by Jesus' sacrificial offering that we partake, and form the covenant union with.
The Sign of the Cross. God's Powerful Manifestation of our Fundamental Faith.
"in aternum misericordia eius"

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Common Beliefs 2 - 9 May 2017

A New Era - 1 June 2015

The Mass - 18 February 2016