John of Damascus Greek icon.
John of Damascus Greek icon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, then, this same truly precious and august tree, on which Christ hath offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sakes, is to be worshipped as sanctified by contact with His holy body and blood; likewise the nails, the spear, the clothes, His sacred tabernacles which are the manger, the cave, Golgotha, which bringeth salvation, the tomb which giveth life, Sion, the chief stronghold of the churches and the like, are to be worshipped. In the words of David, the father of God, We shall go into His tabernacles, we shall worship at the place where His feet stood. And that it is the Cross that is meant is made clear by what follows, Arise, O Lord, into Thy Rest. For the resurrection comes after the Cross. For if of those things which we love, house and couch and garment, are to be longed after, how much the rather should we long after that which belonged to God, our Saviour, by means of which we are in truth saved….Moreover we worship even the image of the precious and life-giving Cross, although made of another tree, not honouring the tree (God forbid) but the image as a symbol of Christ….

A few notes (for myself). St. John’s language on the sacrifice is one of free-will. Again, St. John allows (demands?) the use of icons, not as a stand-in for worshiping God, but to draw our attention to God.

Further, I think there is something else there. For St. John, what Christ has touched has been made clean — divine?