The Three Crosses of Iona
Whoever does not take up their cross and follow in my steps is not fit to be my disciple. Matthew 10: 38, 39
The restoration of Iona and the founding of the Iona Community this century seem to be a fulfilment of Columba’s prophecy: ‘Iona of my love, instead of monks voices shall be lowing of cattle; but ere the world shall come to an end Iona shall be as it was’. The founder of the modern Iona Community, Lord MacLeod, wrote about the three ancient crosses on Iona:
St. John’s cross is the first to get you back to the Truth. The opening chapter of his Gospel reads ‘The world was made by Christ and without him was not anything made that was made.’ This means that Christ is CREATOR and not just Redeemer. Jesus, here and now, is as much involved in politics as he is in prayer. He is to be obeyed in material problems.
St. Martin’s Cross. Martin was horrified that all the monks in Gaul were interested in was their salvation. He persuaded them to get back to comforting people in the towns, in the matters of their housing, their education and their employment. One of his fellow monks was an uncle of Columba, and he went to Iona and showed Columba the kind of ‘all-in’ Christianity that so rapidly converted the West of Scotland.
St. Matthew’s Cross. Matthew was a tax collector. The love of money was the curse of Gospel times, as it is of ours today.
Lord God, in the dawn of creation
And in the presence of your Son
Your light shattered the force and lure of darkness.
We ask your help today
For those who, in public and personal life
Are in the grip of that which is wicked
For those who deal in rumours and perpetrate cheap gossip
For those who are slaves to a vice they fear to name
For those who have traded openness for secrecy
morality for money, love for lust.
We ask for a light not to blind them
But to show them the way out of their darkness.
Iona Community The Wee Worship Book