23rd March 2011

Fingers Crossed And Touch Wood!

“We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eye-witnesses of his majesty.”
Peter 1:16 (NIV UK)

To cross our fingers and touch wood are mannerisms that may come to us automatically when we are attempting to invoke good luck or fortune.  The origins of these are lost in time; however the consensus of opinion among experts is that both these expressions relate to the cross of Jesus Christ.

“This is probably of ancient origin, or perhaps no further back than mediaeval times when relics were hawked about the country, including pieces of ‘the true cross’. Those . . . unable to buy splinters . . . were probably allowed to touch them freely, as a gesture of piety and to bring them good luck or a blessing.”
From Eric Partridge, “A Dictionary of Catch Phrases”.

Life is often a game of chance; we don’t know what is round the corner. Myriads of situations present themselves daily.  We are left with feelings of insecurity and we resort to quirky folklore.  It is ironic that we have subconsciously included the cross as part of this superstition.  Jesus Christ told us what to do when we have cares or burdens. Take them to him and leave them with him at the cross (Mathew 11:28). The apostle Peter instructs us to,  “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7).  The cross was never intended to be a relic that we would merge into legend and myth.  God intended the cross, and all that it represents, to be the metaphorical place of deposit for our cares, anxieties and fears.  Jesus died on the cross in order to set us free from our sin.

Ask yourself, when you last crossed your fingers or touched wood, did the act actually change the situation?  Why don’t we do something really practical when confronted by issues of concern?  Talk to the One who died on the cross and is waiting to hear from you.  Why waste time looking for something wooden when the Saviour of the world is a breath away from you? 

We have been guaranteed salvation through Christ’s broken body on the cross and not by a fragment of wood from the stake.  Believe God’s word when it says, “The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”(Exodus 15:2).

There is a day coming when all mankind will abandon folklore and give credence and glory to their Saviour. Luke 3:6 says, “And all mankind will see God’s salvation.”  We won’t need to cross our fingers or touch wood for it to happen either!

Thank you, Father, for your everlasting love for us—you understand us with all our idiosyncrasies.  Hasten the day Father, when all of humanity will look to you and give you the praise that you are so worthy of.

Study by Irene Wilson

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One Response to “23rd March 2011”

  1. Ian Woodley on March 23rd, 2011 6:32 am

    Many thanks Irene for today’s Day by Day! In a very simple and yet profound way, you point us away from superstitions and focus our attentions on Jesus. Also, you did that in a very postive rather than negative manner – that has set me up for the day!
    Do keep writing – your articles always generate great ideas.

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