I took this picture of the cross that is outside Bockman Hall here at Luther Seminary. “It is a replica of the oldest cross in Norway, dating to around 1000 A.D. When a Viking chose to become Christian, he or she would erect a cross of stone to mark the spot of decision or baptism. After that, they would gather there with other Christians for worship until a church was built. These crosses still stand in Norway.
What are the inscriptions on the Celtic cross? On the top, the “Chi-Rho,” the first two letters of Christ’s name in Greek, and the “theta” from Greek word for the world gives us, “Christ as the light of the world”. On the left arm, the “I” is from “ICHTHUS” or “fish” in Greek, an early Christian symbol, and “Alpha and Omega,” Christ as the beginning and the end. The “VDMA” on the right arm is Latin for “Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum,” or “The Word of God Remains Forever”.
I noticed the cross as I was taking a break from my studies. I couldn’t help but be attentive to this stone, a cold looking cross trapped by the midwest cold and snow. So, I too am reminded of the trappings of life.
I’m currently in school for those who have been following this blog. Yea I know…Sturgie is in school, again. I’m pursuing my Masters of Divinity. It’s a fancy named degree for “pastor.” The MDiv program that I’m enrolled in is long. Six years to be exact and I’m pretty much half way done. And throughout the process I often times feel trapped.
But what I like about the program is that for two-week in Jan and Jun I get away from my “daily” life that is in Eau Claire and I escape to campus where I can full, wholeheartedly devote my time and attention to my studies. So for two weeks i escape the trappings of one life pattern and become trapped with another pattern; life at Luther. It’s great. I need both.
For now the trappings seem to be lasting forever. That is the way I do this school stuff; forever. But my attentiveness to the cross reminds me that only “the Word of God remains forever.”