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Showing posts from February, 2016

Hospitality to the stranger

Genesis 18.1-8 Today we are looking at a story of hospitality shown to some strangers. This is a story that comes from a different world: a different place and a different time. About 4000 years ago in what we know as the west bank today. We would find it a far less ‘busy’ world than the one we live in. The day would begin at sunrise and finish at sunset. There would be far fewer things pressing in on us and demanding our immediate attention: imagine a world without phones, or TV, or electricity or even books. And there would be far fewer encounters with strangers. So we need to beware of taking this story and transplanting it into the C21st. But there are several principles that we can draw from this story about hospitality. 1.     Abraham is eager to show hospitality Notice how the theme of speed runs through the passage V2: when Abraham sees the three men standing there, he hurried to meet them V6: Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah V7: Abraham r

What communion means.

Luke 22.14-23 We have now moved from the left to the right hand side of the church of St Apollinare Nuovo. We are not going to look at all of the 13 mosaics on this side, but as we prepare to remember the events of the first Good Friday and Easter, we will look at some of these mosaics which focus on Jesus' journey to the cross There is an immediate difference between the mosaics on the left and on the right: The Jesus on the left is beardless and the Jesus on the right has a beard. There is a debate about why! Most seem to say that beards were a mark of maturity - or a mark of grief. It is the mature Jesus who goes to the cross. There is also a different style. The mosaics on the left hand side of the church are simple, quite iconic, usually showing Jesus with one subject and one disciple. The mosaics on the right are more complex. There are multiple figures. And today we are going to look at this image: Jesus is reclining at the table, together with his 12 disciples. Four o