Traditionally, the Holy Christian Church maintains that Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, found the cross – the very cross on which our Lord Christ was crucified. Constantine the Great, has been credited as the one who enabled Christianity to be the accepted religion of the land. Constantine the Great, appointed his mother Helena, “Augusta Imperatix”, giving her, unlimited access to the Treasury, in order to find historical relics and artifacts of the Christian Church. On September 14, the Holy Christian Church combines the celebration of: 1) Finding the Cross of Jesus, along with, 2) the Dedication of the Basilica (The Church of the Holy Sepulcher), on “Holy Cross Day.
According to Wikipedia:
Helena undertook a trip to Palestine. The Historian Rufinius relates that while traveling in Jerusalem, Helena found 3 crosses (the three crosses of the crucifixion). The story is, that a woman at the point of death was brought to this site. The dying woman was told to touch the first two crosses, and nothing happened. The dying woman then touched the third cross (the cross of Jesus) and was immediately healed. At this site where the cross was found, and the dying woman was healed, Helena ordered that a Church ( The Church of the Holy Sepulcher ) be built. This is what is celebration of Holy Cross Day, is all about.
According to Historian Eusebius of Caesarea, Helena was responsible for the construction, and beautification of two other Churches. These are: 1) The Church of the Nativity, and 2) the Church of the Mt. of Olives, where Christ Ascended into heaven.
As all of this is considered, a few thoughts come to mind. The first, is the miraculous way that our God works through history to accomplish His Will. Our Lord also worked through Caesar Augustus, to issue a decree that a Census be taken, that all Jewish families return to their family home to be counted. This brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, which is the birthplace of Jesus, thus fulfilling the Scriptural prophecy. (Micah 5)
The cross is the most identifiable symbol of the Holy Christian Church today. When we see a person wearing a cross on a necklace, we immediately think of Christ, and that they are a Christian. Sometimes as a Lutheran Pastor, I am asked if it is on to make the sign of the cross, like our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ. I then direct the person to Luther’s Small Catechism, Section 2, under the Heading, “Daily Prayer.” Here, Luther instructs us, “In the morning, when you get up, make the sign of the cross and say, ‘In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” When a Christian does this, they are retracing the cross made on them at their Baptism. This reminds a believer that they are a Christian, believing in, and belonging to the Christ, and that they are also a child of the heavenly Father.
Have a Great September, Pastor Brad Rick