The ABC’s of Lent | X = Chi | Matthew 21.6-11|

by | Apr 7, 2020

“In the Greek alphabet, X is the symbol for the letter ‘chi. ‘ Chi (or X) is the first letter in the Greek word for Christ. In the early days of the Christian church, Christians used the letter X as a secret symbol to indicate their membership in the church to others.” []

2 Corinthians 5.21, (ESV) “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Philippians 2.10, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”

As we near the end of the ABC’s of Lent, I knew inevitably we’d come to some difficult letters like “X.” So what better way to represent this than with the Greek letter Chi, which is represented in an X. As mentioned above, the Chi is the first letter for Christ in the Greek word χριστός.

But today is not a grammar lesson on Greek, it’s rather to focus upon the One for whom all creation was birthed and the One who is honored this very moment at the right hand of the Father. Jesus, the Son, is the focus of today’s lesson. The babe born in a lowly stable in Bethlehem is the Messiah of the World, the Savior of all humankind.

This week is Holy Week. It’s the most odd Holy Week I’ve seen in my lifetime because the church buildings are closed for services. We can online stream or in a few cases sit in our cars, with windows rolled up, and look at a stage while listening to a band and preacher on the radio. It’s a novel idea, but not the same as putting on those Easter dresses and going to a building.

Isn’t that exactly the point? Isn’t there a good lesson in this for each of us? Christ, χριστός, is not in a building. He’s not even in all of our traditions, certainly not the egg painting or hunting, although it’s one of my favorite memories of Easter. Jesus is who he said he is. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He is the Word Made Flesh, the exact representation as the Father. He is the Morning Star, the Good Shepherd, the Healer and Great Physician. (For more names of Jesus visit – )

So while services during this COVID-19 virus may be limited and viewed impersonally through a glass window or on a computer screen, Jesus is bigger than all of this. He’s bigger than the barriers we put upon him. He is, as 2 Corinthians 5.21 tells us, “the righteousness of God.” He is as Philippians 2.10 reminds us — the name above all names.

This is Holy Week and along with the whole of Lent, a means to focus and worship Jesus more fully and to track his movements from the Triumphal Entry to the Cross. We are here to watch him as he clears the temple, washes the feet of the disciples, celebrates the Last Supper, succumbs to arrest and persecution and finally death. And then on Easter morning, as he is raised from the dead. It’s truly a spectacular story with a fantastic ending.

So however we celebrate his final week on earth, we do so in our hearts and souls and acknowledge that Jesus is all we have and all we could ever want. He is our Love, our Friend, Savior and Messiah.

As you approach the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus, will you do so with gratitude and gratefulness? Will you cling to the cross as a drowning person does a lifeline? Allow Jesus to radically invade your existence today by the power of his Holy Spirit and love.

You won’t be sorry you did.

“O Lord God, you are the Hope of Everlasting Life. Even when our world is falling apart around us, you are greater. You are the one who sustains us in the midst of our despair. You give us life and allow us to walk in faithfulness and love. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen