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Showing posts from March, 2024

Easter Sunday 2024. An all age talk. On Easter eggs

John 20.1-9 Who has been given an Easter egg? What is your egg like? You can find remarkable Easter eggs: This is a very clever Dinosaur egg! Much more important: Who has already eaten their Easter egg? Why do we think about eggs at Easter? I want to suggest two things 1. Eggs are about new life Out of something that looks like a stone, out of a hard shell, a baby chick, duckling, fledgling (or baby  dinosaur!) appears. And out of the cold hard rock tomb, which was covered by a stone, Jesus Christ appears.  Three days earlier, on the first Good Friday, they had taken him and nailed him to the cross and watched him die.  To make sure he was dead, they had taken a spear and thrust it into his side.  Then they laid his body in a tomb and put a great big stone in front of it.  But on that first Easter Sunday something astonishing happened.  Jesus Christ rose from the dead.  New life came out of the dead tomb. And that new resurrection life is available for us all It is not that we are in a

Easter Sunday 2024 When it was still dark ...

John 20.1-8 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark .. It was dark. Jesus – the one who the first disciples had put their trust in, who they had believed was the Messiah and was going to establish the Kingdom of God – had been crucified. Everything looked hopeless. They had trusted Jesus, they had given everything for him, and if he had let them down, then who or what could they trust And it was worse than that: for a brief time, for three years, they had thought that light and truth and love and life would win. But on that first Good Friday betrayal and lies and fear and hatred and evil had won. All they could do is to come to the grave, lament the dead body of Jesus and weep for themselves and their broken dreams. Beyond that there was nothing – no vision, no hope. It was dark. But as they come to the tomb on that first day of the week they get three surprises 1. Somebody has removed the stone. John does not mention about the stone being placed over the entra

Passion Sunday Isaiah 50:4-10

Isaiah 50:4-10 On that first Palm Sunday Jesus came down from Mount of Olives, through the Kidron valley and rides up into Jerusalem. It is that ‘down and then up’ picture that we need to hold in our minds as we think about Palm Sunday, our passages (Isaiah 50:4-11; Philippians 2:4-11), and what we are about to hear in the gospel (Mark 14-15). Isaiah 50 speaks of this mysterious servant of God He could be the righteous people of Israel – who suffer exile and slavery in Babylon, but who are going to be brought back to their land The servant could be the prophet Isaiah – rejected, mocked and beaten by his hearers – but who puts his trust in the vindication of God Or he could also be – as Christians understand it – the coming Messiah, of Jesus Christ. He was the one, in the words of Philippians 2, who was equal with God, but who made himself nothing, becomes a servant, humbles himself and becomes obedient to death: who is accused, betrayed, falsely condemned, tortured, humiliated and exec

Joseph of Nazareth

Joseph is the figure in the bottom left of the icon of the nativity. Sometimes he is in the bottom right. But he is separated apart from, out of the main scene of Mary and baby and ox and ass. He is being tempted by the old man surrounded by his dogs (symbolising the devil) and he is lost in doubt. He is the first person, and certainly not the last, to doubt the virgin birth. But Joseph is shown with a halo. He is a righteou s man. When he thinks that Mary has had an affair, he wants to do what is right but not expose her to shame (Matthew 1:19). And he is open to hear the word of God and obey it (Matthew 1:24). He is called by God to protect the child and his mother - and like another Joseph who lived almost 4000 years earlier - he is the one who is called to take the Son of God, the new Israel, out to Egypt and from Egypt back to Nazareth.  And then, having done what God has called him to do, he disappears.  God our Father, who from the family of your servant David raised up Joseph t