Sometimes objects and personalities can become a distraction from simple faith in God. This recent story on the surface sounds very noble but as one continues to follow it further, one thing that you realise is that there becomes little mention of Jesus Christ or even the gospel of grace. You see…
On the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks members of Grace Lutheran Church in Yorktown Heights gathered for a special Sunday mass. At the service, Pastor Timothy Kennedy dedicated a unique cross which had been cut from a piece of salvaged steel that was once part of Tower One of the World Trade Center.
“This cross is dedicated to the glory of God,” said the Pastor during the dedication. “It is carved from the precious metal of Tower One. May it be a sign of forgiveness that commands us to love our enemy.”
Displayed atop two tall beams Kennedy built to represent the towers, the cross came to the church by way of retired firefighter, Jim Carney, who previously worked for FDNY’s Rescue 1. Carney was in attendance at the ceremony, though could not be found for comment after the mass.
“He’s a quiet hero,” Kennedy said of Carney.
The holy symbol was crafted by one of Carney’s fellow FDNY firefighters, Richey Schmidt of Rescue 4. Schmidt, who was also a professional steel worker, was granted permission to take the large piece of metal from the “pit” he was attending to after the attacks. He then cut several crosses from the girder and gave them away to his comrades.
For the past eight years the cross has been on display in Kennedy’s office.
“I thought it needed a better venue,” Kennedy said. “I was racking my brain about what to do with it. We talked about making it a processional cross, but as you can imagine, it’s very heavy.”
From now on the cross will be displayed in the church’s narthex area, by the front door of the sanctuary in the main building.
During the mass some parishioners reached out to touch the cross as they approached the altar to receive communion, including congregation member Bob Dreaper, who paused to bow his head as he placed his hand upon the steel.
“I just wanted to touch it,” Dreaper said.
I am really not against crosses in church or outside churches but in this case aren’t these people going a little overboard? Wont it be long before this “cross” becomes the object of worship, the one to whom prayers will be made for deliverance, salvation and petition? Afterall isn’t that how the rosary became a significant “means of grace” too?
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? … Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by [works ] or by hearing with faith? (Gal 3:1-2)
The road back to Rome has always been alluring. Wait a minute, can I also just have a little itsy bitsy teeny weeny rub of that lucky cross on my chin? My football team plays this weekend and we need all the help we can get. 😉