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Showing posts from April, 2021

The Resurrection world. Luke 24.36-48

Luke 24.36-48 Ethiopian Jesus Icon Today we are looking at Luke’s account of how Jesus appears to the disciples The fact that the accounts are a little different doesn’t worry me in the slightest.  People remember things in different ways.  And each of the gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, are telling the story in a particular way to make particular points - so they are going to emphasise different things.  And actually, the four accounts - although different - have quite a number of constant themes running through them.  And as in John, so here in Luke. When the risen Jesus appears to his disciples, the first thing that he says to them is ‘Peace be with you’ And he shows them 1. A more solid world, the resurrection world When Jesus first appears to his followers they think he is a ghost. Why? How many of them had seen a ghost before? - probably none of them.  Ghosts were from stories that you told to frighten each other Ghosts are about a shadow world,

The risen Jesus brings peace. John 20.19-31

 John 20.19-31 Three times, in our readings, the risen Jesus says to his followers: ‘Peace be with you’ The risen Jesus brings peace  He brings peace to disciples who were terrified. The disciples are meeting together in lockdown. They are not afraid of infection, but they are afraid for their safety. The authorities have arrested and executed Jesus and who knows who is next on their hit list. They are scared for their life. And the risen Jesus comes to them and he says ‘Peace be with you’: Peace be with you, because I have risen from the dead Peace be with you, because death is not the final word Peace be with you, because eternal life can begin today. Metropolitan Anthony writes a penetrating and helpful article about Death, and I’ll put the link to it on the web version of this sermon on my blog (slog?). On death . Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh ( But he begins by saying this: “ Death is the touchstone of our attitude to life . … If we are afraid

Easter 2021. Meeting with Jesus

Mark 16.1-8 We’ve just read Mark’s account of the resurrection of Jesus Although it doesn’t tell us of the resurrection. It tells us what happens when the women go to the tomb, find the stone rolled away and a young man who tells them that Jesus is alive. What makes it powerful, and particularly relevant for us, is that in Mark, the women do not meet the risen Jesus. There is the promise of the meeting, but no actual meeting. And that helps us to identify with this passage 1. There is the messenger who brings them the word that Jesus has risen from the dead. The messenger is not described as an angel. The women thought that he was a young man, dressed in white, sitting on the right side (that is a fascinating, completely pointless fact, but it is a very eye-witness sort of thing that someone might say: I can’t remember what he looked like, but he was there on the right-hand side). I suspect that it was only later, as they thought through what had happened, they realised that the y

The centrality of the Cross

The cross is central in the Christian faith Churches are built in the shape of the cross, many of us wear a cross, and many of us make the sign of the cross.   The first Orthodox service when we were sent by the Anglican church to live in the St  Petersburg seminary, was the service for the exaltation of the cross. We were clueless! At one point everyone suddenly disappeared - they were prostrating themselves - and we were left standing up. That happened 7 times, so we got the gist of it and realised when we needed to go down!    In many churches, at the Good Friday service, the congregation are usually invited to come forward to kiss a cross. And in the Roman Catholic Church, the congregation hear the words, , with the words,  “Behold the wood of the cross on which the Saviour of the world was hung. Come let us adore him” And on Wednesday we had a special service of meditation and music, and heard James Macmillan musical interpretation of those words, in his piece, Kiss on