Luke 2:22-38 We're thinking today about Anna. She was 84. She had been married for 7 years, then widowed, and since then she had lived in the temple I suspect people thought she was mad. She has lived in the temple many years. Let’s assume that she got married at 15 and her husband died 7 years later. She probably did not have children. Since then, for 62 years, she has lived in the temple courts. It was a big area, and no doubt she found a quiet corner where she could sleep. And she would have been dependent on the gifts of others. She worships there; she prays and fasts. She waits for God to come and set his people free. Most people would say, “what a wasted life”. Some of you may have heard of a Samuel Beckett play called Waiting for Godot, in which Vladimir and Estragon sit around waiting for someone called Godot, who never appears. And here is Anna, waiting for ‘the redemption of Israel’, waiting for God. Is she a Vladimir and Estragon?
Showing posts from January, 2020
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A talk on the 135th anniversary of the consecration of St Andrew's on 13 January 1885 by the Rt Rev Dr JH Titcomb, English Bishop for Northern and Central Europe We are, this month, officially 135 years old. And you’re not looking too bad! It has been an interesting few years. St Andrew’s was built to be a place for life: where God meets with people and we discover new life. The consecration prayer speaks of a building set aside so that people could hear the Word of God, receive the sacraments and offer prayer and praise to God. It was to be a place, the prayer continues, ‘for blessing thy people in thy name’: for baptism, confirmation, communion, marriage, for confession and healing and worship, where people can draw near to God, and receive mercy from God, and his life transforming Holy Spirit. And then in 1917, after the revolution, everything changed. Russia went on its religious roller coaster. God was rejected. And the heart of a nation was ripped out
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Isaiah 49:1-7 This passage speaks of two servants. The first servant is Israel, the people of God. The second servant will bring Israel back to God. But then it seems that the second servant is also Israel. It is complicated! But Christians have understood that this passage is speaking of Jesus. He is both the servant, who called Israel back to God, but he is also Israel itself: he is the embodiment, the fulfilment of Israel In the British constitution the Queen is the head of the State. But she is also, to a degree, the personal embodiment of the state. What the Queen does, at an official level, the UK does. If the Queen greets another head of State, then the UK is greeting that other nation. And if you are a UK citizen then you are, by definition, a subject of Her Majesty. She is the constitutional glue, if this helps, who holds us all together. So she is both the servant of the State, but she is also the embodiment of the State. And Jesus, to a far greater