It is reputed that on Oct. 28, 312, Flaverius Valerius Aurelius Constantine had a vision of a cross in the sky emblazoned with the words In Hoc Signo Vinces (in this sign conquer). Armed with this portent of divine blessing, Constantine and his army went on to defeat Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge on the Tiber River, a few miles from Rome. The victory convinced him to recognize Christianity as a legal religion in 313. He became sole emperor of Rome in 324 and, three years later, was baptized on his deathbed.
On another October day, 1,691 years after this famed sighting, a cross appeared in the sky over the intersection of Peachtree Road and Wesley Road in Atlanta—the location of a Roman Catholic cathedral, an Episcopal cathedral and a Baptist church.
Caused by the confluence of jet airplane contrails, this cross holds no mystery. Still it was for me, who had a fleeting moment to photograph it, a vivid symbol of the ultimate victory Christ gives, as Paul proclaims: “We are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). Whatever battles we face in life, even death itself, we are promised the victory of eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers