Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Celtic Cross

If you have ever seen a Celtic cross then you will have noticed the large circle behind the cross.  The story goes that with St. Patrick was teaching the gospel to the Irish that he used that cross to explain the superiority of Jesus.  The Irish like many people had worshipped the sun.  When Patrick placed the Cross in front of the sun it was teach the people that God is greater than the sun.  If you prefer he was saying that this son is greater than that sun.  I love the Celtic cross.  To see it is to recognize that our God is greater than any other god.

I think about some of the stories in the bible where God taught his people that.  When he struck the Egyptians with plaques he struck right at the power of their gods.  It is not a coincidence the plagues that God used.  Each one of those plaques was to challenge the authority of one of the Egyptian gods.  They had worshipped the Nile, and so he turned it to blood.  They had worshipped the sun and so he plunged them into darkness.  It is amazing to think about how this must have effected the Egyptians.  There was no god they could turn to for relief.  God had proved himself more powerful than all of them.

I also remember a story about the enemies of the Jews capturing the Ark of the Covenant.  They took the Ark  into their pagan temple.  Each morning when they went into the temple they found that their idols were laying prostrate in the presence of the Ark.  The Ark was an earthly represntation of God's presence with his people.  When it sat in the Holy of Holies it was said to be the very dwelling place of God Almighty.  When I think about these stone idols falling in front of the Ark it reminds me of the triumphal entry.  Jesus enters Jerusalem and the people are praising him.  The religious leaders tell him to silence the crowds.  He says that if he were to silence the people that even the rocks would cry out.  The stones of those idols knew in whose presence they stood.  They had no choice but to fall prostrate in front of God Almighty.

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