Armenians make the sign of the Cross in the Church service. Some of us cross ourselves as a habit…some out of habit, while others out of genuine love and appreciation of Christ. Armenians, in the past, always tattooed their children… to remind them, when they grow, that they are Christians, if they are taken away by others.
Before I left home to go to another country to start my PhD studies, my sister gave me a gold necklace cross (22carats) as a gift. I was very pleased to wear this cross … like Aaron the High Priest in the Old Testament.
However during my studies, I met my wife to be, and being a poor student and had no money to buy an engagement ring…I offered her my precious cross to express my deep love and commitment to her….it became an engagement ring….she never takes it off.
However as the years have gone by, I met a wonderful Methodist friend (David) who gave me a wooden cross with a wonderful poem he wrote. David was a dyslexic…in his childhood he used to be called “dunce”… but he was a wonderful builder and a joiner. He said to me “put it in your pocket…and whenever you touch the cross you will remember the suffering Christ”.
The wooden cross is always with me….I remember the suffering of Christ for me and also I remember David my friend.
Another person I always remember…whenever I cross myself or touch my wooden cross…my father who was transferred to be in the presence Christ over 15 years ago. He taught us that whenever we make the sign of the cross, as Armenians, we must always remember that “God sent His only Son into this world to transfer us from the darkness of our sin into the light of His Kingdom”. At that time these words passed from one ear and out from the other. However, after many years of searching, touched by the love and grace of the suffering of Christ…remembering my father’s words about the cross. I willingly with love to my Lord, make the sign of the cross…reminding me of the one who died for my sins and reconciled me to God the Father.
St. Paul the Apostle, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whichthe world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” Galatians 6 v 14.
Like St. Paul, as an engineer/scientist, I willingly repeat these words with much appreciation and devotion.
For the One who created this vast universe, engineered it with perfection, set the laws of physics in completeness beyond our comprehension…is the God who “humbled himself and became obedient unto death even the death of a cross”. Philippians 2 v 8
How much, as human beings, we try to perfect the laws and theories that we discovered and use them to understand the nature around us…we will never get to the bottom of it…
At this Easter time, I pray that we will know the meaning of the Cross and humbly bow before the suffering Christ and say, like our church fathers said “you are my Lord & you are my King”.
Let us also remember continually, in our prayers, our suffering Christians worldwide and particularly in the Middle East that the Risen Christ sustain them in their faith and steadfast love for Him.
Christ has Risen from the dead….
Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ