Can hope beat luck?
In Heb. 6:11-20 we read that 'hope' is a sure and certain looking for good things that have been promised by God, and they are promises we can depend on. The trials of life are as though we are a ship at sea, being thrown up and down by the waves, and in danger of sinking. We need an anchor to keep us steadfast. The hope found in the Gospels1 is our anchor in the storms of this world.
Rather than saying "Fingers Crossed", the term "DV&WP"2 is said by those who like to use posh pseudo-academic terms that few understand. But hope is simple to understand, we all experience it, although can be difficult to describe and the meaning may change, depending on a person's ideology.
Hope is not – and this may disappoint some people – something that you can buy in a trinket shop in the form of a so-called 'Hope Cross'. And yet many people spend enough dollars to collectively give huge fortunes for opportunists who profit from the gullible.
Cross of Hope
Sadly, often these handmade lapel pins or pendants are sold only to raise funds for church activities or simply as a supplementary income for a part-time home worker. The businesses associated with these crosses are sometimes a bit dubious – prices are disproportionately high and the components are often cheap nails and bits of plastic wire.
Like some of the online prayer groups or organisations offering internet ordinations, the prime purpose is to raise money – spreading the Gospel is incidental. Often, they are worn as a Talisman or Lucky Charm to ensure good fortune and/or protection for the owner.
They are sold in packaging reminding us that "Poverty is not being without money, but being without hope." They have various names, including:
- Believer's Cross
- Disciple's Cross
- Divine Cross
- Goodwill Cross
- Hope Cross
- Wishing Cross
(Any name could be used but the above are vogue. A Christian would simply call it 'a cross', and wear it in consideration of the true hope for mankind.)
Nails are used to add 'theological value', reminding wearers of the nails driven through the hands and feet of Jesus when He was crucified.
Another, rather curious, variation to this is the Horseshoe Nail Cross. It looks just like the crosses mentioned above, but rather than reminding the wearer of Christ's passion, our minds are led in the direction of a lucky horseshoe. Not much theological evidence to support lucky horseshoes but presumably there is a market for these charms anyway. (Check out our very own Miracle Healing Cross and don't miss your chance to spend a pile of cash on the Nazareth Cross.)
Are crosses bought online dangerous?
This page was written in response to more than one person who contacted us, anxious about the source of such items, believing the suppliers are perhaps not as "Orthodox" as they claim to be. Many are made by the same people who produce Tibebtan bowls, Buddha statues, and similar. These are essential accessories for some, tasteless for others, and couldn't-care-less for the majority.
For items such as crosses, crucifixes, prayer beads, etc., they wonder if the items are blessed or cursed, and take them to priests for blessing, lay them on an alter for forty days (the cross, not the priests!) and go through all sorts of superstitious rigmorale – sound advice if you are going to worship the item you've bought.
But if you plan to use it for its intended purpose, as an aid to prayer, then you need not waste your emotions worrying about the source.3
Other 'lucky' pages: