Lent

Good Friday – Why Sacrifice?

God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. [Galatians 6:14] Today is the most solemn day of the Christian year. We have prepared ourselves for it with an almost forty day fast.  We have intensified our focus on the Cross by veiling it for the past two weeks in church services.  Last night we have stripped away all other furnishings in the church except this Cross, that we…

Maundy Thursday – A new commandment

On this Holy Thursday we commemorate Jesus washing the feet of his disciples and the institution of the Holy Communion at the Last Supper. I find the Gospel accounts of that last night with the disciples, to be one of the most moving and revealing passages of Scripture. The gift of Holy Communion to me, is the core of what the church has to offer, for all who are hungry and thirsty and who long…

Lent 5 – Giving up murder

  How much more shall the blood of Christ… purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. [Hebrews 9:11-15] Lent is a pilgrimage to Jerusalem with Jesus. On that journey, in the last few weeks, we have had these confrontations with demons – first Jesus himself, with his temptations by Satan in the wilderness, and showing us in these core responses to the devil in his fast, how we can see through the…

Lent 2 – Battling demons

O woman, great is your faith: be it done for you as you desire! We are now into our second week of Lent, into a kind of wilderness if we are practicing some kind of spiritual discipline.  The fast can make us a little more agitated, and yet if we are motivated by love, by drawing closer to God and to our neighbour in our agitation, we should also be seeing some new life, a…

Lent 1 – Speaking and walking in truth

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Lent has been a time in the Church year for us to pause and to look up at God but also to examine ourselves to see obstacles to drawing nearer to God and to be aware of signs of new life in us from Him.  It is about growing in love, as Ineke pointed out last week. The…

Ash Wednesday – Where the Wild Things are

“Your Father, who sees in secret, shall reward you openly! “ Today we begin the Church’s season of Spring, the Lengthening of days, the attention to the signs of new life in our midst.  Outside this week there are snow drops, crocuses, daffodils, the magnolia blossoms are ready to explode.  We are to look for a parallel in our own souls: signs of the renewal of love or of the buds of new love ready…

Good Friday – Christ for all Nations

I have very mixed feelings about Good Friday.  Feelings of guilt, shame, and thankfulness.  All those mixed together.  Perhaps you share these feelings. 1 Appearance beyond human semblance Throughout the Gospels we meet with a Jesus who was attractive to be in touch with; people came to him by day and by night, men, women, children, educated and non-educated. But …. on this Good Friday, we remember Him as the one no-one wanted to look…

Good Friday – “I crucified thee”

“I crucified thee” “Then Jesus took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things written by the Prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked and spitefully entreated and spitted on: and they shall scourge him, and put him to death; and the third day he shall rise again.  And they understood none…

Palm Sunday – He emptied himself

 “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus: who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant…” This morning we have begun Holy Week, the culmination of our Lent and leading to the most important celebration of the Christian year – the Resurrection of our Lord, Easter Sunday. Through this coming…

Passion Sunday – Before Abraham was, I am

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.[1] Anthony Bloom was a doctor who later became a bishop. He was born to a Russian family just before outbreak of WWI. After the Russian Revolution, they had to flee Iran, and eventually settled in Paris, part of a significant Russian…