The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross


The other day I heard the Rother Man say, “hit the nail on the head.” My mind went quickly to the basic hammer and nail. There are lots of hammer types, but they ultimately have the same purpose. They are used to build. A hammer drives home the point. But it would be essentially useless without a nail. Nails hold parts securely, creating structure. And they would be utterly valueless without a hammer.

There must have been many execution teams in the Roman Empire. They were experts at crucifixion. They would hammer nails, driving home the point through wrists and ankles. They were loyal soldiers of Caesar who undoubtedly saw themselves protecting the empire, thus doing their part to build it up. Then one day, an execution team hammered the nails into the wrists and ankles of Jesus, the ultimate Builder. The Builder became the Building material. They didn’t know what they were doing: what they did was drive home the point of God’s love for us. And the nails secured eternal life for us. Forever. They did their part to construct the Body of Christ, using wood, hammer, nails, and Jesus flesh.

Stanley had a hammer. He used it near Durant to construct buildings. Then he repeated his effort in Santiago Atitlan. He drove home the point of God’s love for us and used nails to help build up a people into the Body of Christ, assisting the ultimate Builder. And Stanley kept hammering until someone hammered bullets into his body. When they hammered Stanley, the structure of the church in Guatemala changed in a way that is still building up today. Those bullets, the nails that went into Stanley, are still building up the Body of Christ in us, in anyone who is attentive to his life.

“If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning, I’d hammer in the evening, all over this land” says the 1963 Grammy award winning song by Peter Paul and Mary(how’s that for a trio of names). That same year Stanley was ordained to the priesthood. The song continues, “Well, I got a hammer”: we all do, to drive home the point of God’s love for us. Each of us has a different box of nails to build up the body of Christ. Sometimes my nails are words I say or write. Sometimes my nails are actions I take in support of the Body of Christ. My hammer, the nails I have been given, your hammer, the nails given you, are still building the Body of Christ into the Kingdom of God. Let’s keep our hammers fit and our nails sharp, being ready to assist the Builder when He calls.

#RotherMen #hammer #nail #cross #roman #Jesus #construction #rother

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