Today is the feast of the Holy Cross, a red-letter day newly introduced into the Prayer Book tradition in the 20th century. Historically, this holiday commemorates the date that Emperor Constantine’s mother, Helena, found the True Cross in a rubbish heap outside of Jerusalem, thus beginning the veneration (not worship) of the instrument whereby Christ redeemed the world. In modern Prayer Book context, this holiday focuses on the glory of Christ on the Cross, thus instead of the Gospel lesson being about the crucifixion, it’s from John 12 wherein our Lord declares that when he will be lifted up the whole world will be drawn to him.
Here’s a round-up of different sorts of writings to help explore different facets of the Cross and this holy day. (In general the first three links are shorter reads and the latter three are longer, in case you need to budget your time.)
Some Old Testament typology uses Noah’s Ark to foreshadow the Cross!
Why not look at the 39 Articles of Religion while we’re at it?
A survey of the collect and lessons (albeit with the wrong Psalm)
A reflection on the crucifixion of Christ through Isaiah’s eyes
When I survey the wondrous Cross, this is the doctrine we find
Confronting evil at the Cross