If a child is born to Episcopalian parents and baptized in the Episcopal Church, that child is called a “Cradle Episcopalian,” an elite group, I assure you. I, however, am not a cradle Episcopalian and there are a few Episcopalian traits I struggle with. However, there is one thing Episcopalians do that I love. Episcopalians cross themselves at every appropriate opportunity. By making the sign of the cross, from head to heart and across the chest, they are blessing themselves or something else in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
I have always loved making the sign of the cross and blessing others…and things…and situations. I have been assured by a priest that since I am not supposing to be blessing as if I am a priest, that God would not hold this practice against me.
There is a business establishment that I pass every time I travel highway 25 from Asheville to Anderson or back. This place specializes in “Southern Merchandise.” I will tell you now that I believe symbols are merely symbols and flags are merely pieces of cloth. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. And Jesus never said, “Thou shalt not have flags.” But Jesus did say, “Thou shalt not Hate,” or more specifically, “Thou shalt Love.”
It was not just a good idea or a suggestion; It was a command. “Thou shalt Love your fellow man.” Period. It was second only to the Great command: “Thou shalt love God.” Period.
So, every time I pass this establishment, I bless it with the sign of the cross. I am not accusing anyone of anything. But, just in case there are words or thoughts or spirits of hate within those walls, I bless the place, asking Jesus to infuse the place with His love…and kick out any negative or evil influences. I bless the proprietors, patrons, and their families with a prayer that they will release whatever fear, hate, resentment, or animosity they may have with anyone and that it be replaced with love, compassion, concern, and goodwill. I pray that each piece of cloth be accompanied with an angel that goes home with it to assist the Holy Spirit in spreading God’s love…even as it flies from the back of a 1971 Ford F-150.
Now, every time you see one of those pieces of cloth, smile, knowing that, unbeknownst to the owner, that it may be spreading the influence of the Holy Spirit, spreading good will to all men.
The Lord be with you…
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