It seems to me that this week we begin our journey into danger – our journey to the cross. As we begin this journey I wonder what we/I think this is all about? What does it mean for Jesus to die for my/our sins? Too often this gets reduced to “so that I/we can get into heaven”. But is that really all this is about? N.T. Wright in “The Day the Revolution Began” suggests that this understanding of the cross is a pagan understanding that has nothing to do with the Biblical understanding. Jesus, the gospel writers and Paul, he says, were all about the renewal of the earth and renewal of the people of God as image bearers. In this Sundays gospel reading (John 11:1-45) Jesus says that he is the resurrection and the life. Too often we drop “life” out of this and just read “resurrection” as refereeing to something happening later after we die. But this is all about now. Mary, Martha and Lazarus are invited to live life now in God’s image. And so are we. Howard Wallace offers us
Showing posts from March, 2017
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This can be listened to here Gate Pa – Year A 4 th Sunday in Lent, Readings: Psalm Psalm: 23 First Reading : 1 Sam 16:1-13 Second Reading : Eph 5:8-14 Gospel: John 9:1-41 What I want to say: Lets read this with some of the rest of John. And lets wonder where we stand in this story. What does it mean for us to have placed in our eyes the light of Christ? What I want to happen: - what would we see differently - who would we see differently - how would we live differently The Sermon 1. Introduction: Rev. Sean is the vicar of a Protestant parish in Southern Ireland, and Fr. Patrick is the priest at the Roman Catholic Church across the road. One day they are seen together, erecting a sign which says: "THE END
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For the last two weeks we have seen John contrast the learned male insider who comes to Jesus at night in secret (Nicodemus) with the female Samaritan outsider who finds Jesus in the middle of the day. One understands Jesus offer of a new start, a new identity, a new family. The other can’t. One sees, the other is blind to what Jesus offers. This Sunday we have another really long gospel reading (John 9) which contrasts more learned insiders (Pharisees) with an outsider from birth judged a sinner - a blind man. By the end, one can see what Jesus is offering; the others remain blind even to restoration of the man to family and community. The blind man becomes the one who sees and so the teacher to the insiders who think they can see but are blind. We are the insiders. This Lent, who are the outsiders we consider blind, but are really God’s teachers inviting us to see?