Tag Archive for 'sacrifice'

Good Friday April 2, 2010

John  18:1-19:42                                                                

 

 For the message about the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:18

Words of St. Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians; not a reading appointed for this day, but one surely that sums up what Good Friday is about:  the “message of the Cross . . . the power of God to those of us who are being saved.”

But how “the power of God”? We don’t often stop to ask ourselves that question. When I posed it a couple of weeks ago during a discussion of Paul’s teaching in the time after breakfast, there was a lot of awkward silence. What does the crucifixion of Jesus, symbolized by the Cross, mean to people like you and me today?

Volumes have been and are being written in answer to that question. But what I want to do tonight is to try to answer it in personal terms, in terms of what the death of Jesus means to me. It may not mean the same to you, and it need not, but perhaps my “testimony” will spur you to reflect on its meaning in your life. Continue reading ‘Good Friday April 2, 2010’

Pentecost 24 November 15, 2009

Daniel 12:1-3                                                                      

Hebrews 10:11-25                                                              

Mark 13:1-8

Life is strewn with unfinished projects: that tractor you bought off a neighbor and have been meaning to fix up for years but is still sitting behind the shed under a blue tarp; that sweater you started knitting for your daughter years ago which she could never fit into now. I conceived a wonderful project once: to write a kind of day book prayer journal. It was inspired by a New Age book someone showed me, but mine was going to be orthodox, working with the readings for daily Morning and Evening Prayer. I even had a publisher interested in it, but they wanted me to include a lot of collects and I was more interested in stimulating people to do their own praying. So that was the excuse for laying it aside.

When I was working on it though, I had a small focus group to whom I gave the drafts – a page for each day, with brief readings and sections of psalms, then space to jot down what came to people as they prayed with the texts. There was a young mother in the focus group, the wife of a successful businessman with two young kids, living in a nice house, singing in the church choir. She told me she couldn’t use the book because all the biblical readings were so grim. Particularly the psalms; they all seemed to be written by people in deep distress. It didn’t connect with her life, which was easy and happy, or with her experience in church, singing in the choir. Continue reading ‘Pentecost 24 November 15, 2009’

Lent 5 March 29, 2009

Jeremiah 31:31-34                                                             

Hebrews 5:5-10                                                                  

John 12:20-33

  

Each of us here this morning has something we must give up, surrender, sacrifice, in order that we might truly live. It’s something very precious to you, something you’ve held onto fiercely in your deepest soul, for years, maybe all your life. And you don’t want to let go of it. But you must, if you are to be truly free and whole and alive in Jesus Christ. Continue reading ‘Lent 5 March 29, 2009’