Showing posts from March, 2016

Easter- what does it mean? and did it happen?

Today I want to look at two questions. 1. What does the death and resurrection of Jesus mean?  2. And did the death and resurrection of Jesus actually happen?

‘Atonement’ has been the word used to describe what happened on the cross. The word “atonement” means to bring two things into unity- “At-one-ment”. We are told that what happened on the cross brought what was divided (God and humanity), into unity.

There are a variety of ways to understand the Atonement. I also want to start by reminding you of what C. S. Lewis has said about the atonement- That understanding how it works is less important than understanding that it works. He says it is like nutrition. People were eating food and drinking long before there were any theories of how the body broke down food to nourish cells. When you are hungry it is enough to eat, and it works. Jesus’ work on the cross is like this. We don’t have to dedicate ourselves to one particular theory about how this works. What we are assured of in Scri…

Good Friday and Jesus becoming a nobody

TGIF- Thank God it’s Friday. That’s what most people are saying today. To many people “Good” Friday is “good” because it begins a long weekend. So what are we strange people doing here? (…) As an Anglican we save the hopeful stuff for Saturday night and Sunday. So today is dark. We gather with the disciples who have prepared the body of Jesus and we place him in the tomb. We are here for a funeral. And like a funeral we gather to support one another in our grief. We are here to remember a death. Our Lord, our teacher, and our friend has been crucified. …. But, that in itself is not extraordinary. There are plenty of people who have been crucified.           There was a slave rebellion between 73 and 71 BC called the Third Servile War. About 120,000 rebel slaves were led by a man named Spartacus in revolt against the Roman republic. This led to about 6000 of his followers being crucified along the 200km stretch of road between Capua and Rome as a warning to those who would oppose Rome’…

We want a hero- Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday
Luke 19:28-40; Luke 22:14-23:56

I have to admit that I love superheroes. When I was a kid I collected comics. I watched superhero TV shows and movies. I played superhero videogames. I had superhero toys. … You may have noticed that superheroes seem to be everywhere now. Every few months a new superhero movie comes out and the toy stores are always in sync with the latest movie.

When I was a kid I loved superman. I used to pretend I was Clark Kent. I had a pair of sunglasses with the lenses popped out that I would wear around town when my mom had to run errands. I had a little briefcase I carried around that had a towel I could tie into a cape, and a pair of underwear I could pull on over my pants for when I had to transform into superman.

Superman looks human. He looks so human he can be overlooked and ignored as Clark. But he is more than human. He can lift trains over his head. He can shoot lasers out of his eyes. He can freeze with hi…

Mary's out-pouring John12

John 12:1-8

     Have you ever been so grateful to someone that you didn’t know how to show it? Maybe it was a parent that gave you a large amount of money that helped you buy your first house. Maybe it was a doctor that diagnosed a problem and gave you a medicine that saved your life, or the life of your child. Whoever it was you felt like no matter what you did, it wouldn’t be enough to show your gratitude.    Mary experienced something amazing that caused her to be filled with gratitude. Our gospel reading isn't the first time Mary has fallen down at Jesus' feet. In the previous chapter Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. There we met a grief-stricken Mary. In John 11:32 we read "When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’"  Having lost her brother, Mary wept at the feet of Jesus, … and Jesus wept with her. Many here know the deep gut wrenching sadness she must …

what does the love of God look like? Luke 15

Luke 15
The parable of the prodigal son can be so well known to some of us that we can miss some of the depth of the story Jesus is telling. It seems to begin very simply, "‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them." It seems like a slightly strange request. The sort of request a spoiled child might make, but there is a lot more in those two simple sentences than meets the eye. In Jesus’ culture, for a son to ask for his inheritance before his father died is to spit in his father's face. It is a great insult. Kenneth Bailey spend a good deal of his life trying to understand the Bible by studying the cultures of the Middle East and Mediterranean. He says this, "For over 15 years I have been asking people of all walks of life from Morocco to India and from Turkey to the Sudan about the implications of a son's request for his inheritance while the father is still living. The answer has always been emphatically the same... the …