Showing posts from March, 2016

Believing into the Christ

"These things have been written in order that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ the son of God, and in order that while believing you might have life in his name." (John 20:31) “Believing” is at the heart of John’s gospel. It is the point of John's gospel. The tricky thing is understanding what John might mean by believing. For some believing has come to mean being able to agree with some intellectual or creedal position or statement; for example belief in the virgin birth, or the miracles. It has come to mean being able to agree with something like the Westminster Confession of Faith, or the Nicene Creed. When you agree with that you have faith. If you don’t then you do not have faith! Is that what John means? Do we have to have the right understanding or belief in order to reserve our room in eternity? Belief for the writer of John, and for all the biblical writers in fact, was not about right thought. Last week we heard that the beloved disciple

Easter sermon thing

One of the things I learnt a long time ago at a conference in Oxford England was to not try to say too much explaining scripture, but to tell the story and shut up, so to speak. I have also learnt that at Easter and Christmas the goal is to help people into the story, rather than try to talk about the story. I try to do that most weeks, and I suspect most people would laugh at that statement. But here is my sermon for this Sunday. It is a poem really, with images playing on our screens. I may have posted it before. If I have, arohamai.  You can listen to me reading this reffelction here . To be honest it goes better with the images They huddled Numb Exhausted Stuck Filled with grief Filled with guilt Disbelieving Desperate Overwhelmed by darkness, sin, and death They wait Powerless Angry Afraid Hopeless Helpless Unsure Uncertain Where is God in all this? Why has God forsaken us? Wanting to bury the crucified one The disciples,

Breath of life at Easter

Here we are on the other side of Good Friday. On the other side of death, celebrating life once more. It is easy to think that Easter fixes Good Friday – fixes Jesus humiliation and places Jesus where he belongs in glory in heaven. There is no fixing. Easter affirms Good Friday as the moment of Christ’s glorification. In Jesus death the ways of rivalry with the need to have more status, power, money, stuff, people; and the way of compliance are shown to be empty. Easter does not correct Good Friday, but declares that on Good Friday Christ was glorified and love won. All other ways are death. God’s way of compassion and generosity through the cross is life. And this way is to be lived out now. Karoline Lewis [1] puts this another way. ‘(R)esurrection is not only the promise of life after death, which, after all, would be enough, but also the assurance that the life-giving love of God will always move the stones away. Tombs are just that -- containers for the dead. And while we