Alphabet of Faith — “X” Is for Christ and His Cross

As we make our way through the Alphabet of Faith series we finally come to the most difficult of the letters, X. I looked through my Bible concordance but was disappointed to learn that Xerox isn’t in the Bible (just kidding). I had to check out Frederich Buechner’s book, Wishful Thinking, which is an alphabetized sharing of words of faith that inspired me to do the same. Where Buechner usually has several entries for each letter he had only one for X and so I’m going to go with his choice.

Buechner states that X is the Greek letter chi, which is the first letter of the word Christ. Thus Xmas is shorthand for Christmas…” (Wishful Thinking, p. 123)

I remember a couple of Christmases ago I had our sign master at the church put something in our outdoor church sign to the effect of Don’t Leave Christ Out of Xmas. I got a call from the priest of Regina Coeli Catholic Church up the road from us. He humorously chided me, “You win!” I asked him what he meant. He explained he had his sign master put something on their outdoor church sign about Christmas and had used “Xmas” to shorten the message so it would better fit on the sign. He told me that he had instructed his sign master to remove it. “So you win,” he repeated. We both laughed about the incident.

So, X can stand for Christ. It’s also the form of the saltire cross, or Saint Andrews cross, a cross with slanted beams. So…

X Is for Christ and His Cross

X also frequently marks the the location of something, like treasure on a treasure map. Then too, “crux” means cross, but also can mean a pivotal, decisive, or all important point.

When you blend all of this together you have X standing for Christ and His cross, the pivotal and all important treasure of life. And what application does this have for you and for me right now? We people going about our day-to-day activities are more than ants going up and down their tunnel as we go up and down a building’s elevator. We are more than bees gathering pollen as we flit about gathering a salary. We are more than cows grazing on grass as we lean over our dinner plates eating our dinner. We are more than a cat curled up to sleep as we snuggle under the covers at night. Ours is so much more than an animal-like existence.

We are the creature, you and I, who God became one of! As we face our own fallen and sinful nature He is the one who went to His cross to pay for that sin so we can be in a right relationship with Him now and forever. He wants to be the pivotal factor in our lives. No matter what else we treasure in life we can live, if we so choose, treasuring Him most of all! And this is good to do, for He is the final satisfaction.

Map out your day. Plot where you are at this moment now. X marks the spot, the spot not only where you are right now but where Christ is right now! No matter what else is going on He can and should be the crux of the matter right here and now. Your life and mine can revolve around Him, be empowered by Him, be directed by Him, be filled with His love and peace and joy. When it comes to the great and grand meaning and purpose of life this is the crux of the matter!

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