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Summary: Glory of the Cross (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading:

• Galatians chapter 6 verse 14.

• 1 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 18

Ill:

• In Hereford, there is a little village called Bredwardine’;

• Like many villages it contains an old Anglican church.

• For many years on the altar of that church stood a cross,

• It was very old and dirty, and no one ever took much notice of it.

• Then one day one of the villagers died,

• And in her will she left a sum of money to the Church.

• Along with the money was some clear instructions;

• That the money be used for the purpose of cleaning the cross,

• So with the money banked;

• The vicar of the church sent the cross away to the local jewellers,

• A few weeks later when the dirt and the grime was removed from this very old cross,

• It was discovered that it was made of solid silver,

• And it was studded in the upright and the cross piece with emeralds,

• It was worth a small fortune!

If you visit that Church today:

• You will discover that the cross no longer stands on the altar:

• It is kept in a safe, and is only brought out when a service is about to take place.

• The cross there was: a very beautiful piece of jewellery,

• A beautiful ornament,

Ill:

• In Coventry the city I grew up in;

• One of its many claims to fame are two cathedrals.

• The old one which on the night of 14 November 1940;

• Was bombed, destroyed and left as ruins by the German Luftwaffe.

• And the new one designed by Basil Spence;

• Finished on 25 May 1962, to replace the one that had been destroyed.

• Just as the new cathedral was being finished;

• A cross was lowered by helicopter and placed on top of it.

• It was and still is a symbol for all to see.

• And you can still look out over the city skyline and see the cross.

We live in a world that struggles to understand the cross:

• To lots of people the cross is an ornament, or a piece of beautiful jewellery,

• People who have no interest whatever in Christianity or Christian things will were a cross,

• To many people the cross is a symbol:

• The great symbol of Christianity,

BUT TO THE EARLY CHRISTIANS:

• The cross certainly was not an ornament,

• Nor was it a symbol, of Christianity,

• The fish preceded the cross as a symbol of Christianity

• The cross did not become a symbol of Christianity until about the fourth century.

• To the early Christians the cross was always a message,

• And in the New Testament the cross is a message,

• Not a symbol,

• Not an ornament,

• But a message.

Paul in the letter to the Corinthians chapter 1 verse 18 says,

"The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,

But to us who are being saved it is the power of God".

• N.I.V. “The message of the cross”

• Some versions say; “The preaching of the cross”.

• It literally reads the ‘logos’ of the cross;


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