Alleluia!

Alleluia, alleluia!

He is risen!

(if you haven’t said He is risen indeed, Allueluia, alleluia then go back to Episcoal training school, I joke).

Easter Sunday is always a day of happiness and rejoicing, Jesus has risen from the dead, but it didn’t start happy. Why? Well Mary and the others who arrived at the tomb that first Easter day would have been upset and sad, firstly because Jesus had just died two days before but then what’s this? An empty tomb, that was the final straw, I would have hit rock bottom at that point. Take a moment for Mary, she had to suffer watching losing her son lose his life but now she was faced with no body to mourn over.

We all know it happily didn’t end this way, take a moment today for Mary and the others in their moment of extreme sadness that turned to extreme joy.

Alleluia

Gesthemane

“Stay here while I go and pray”

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch”

*ring….ring*

“Dad? Yea it’s me”

“I know, I know, you’ve told me before, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” He notices his friends are not awake.

“I’ll be back in a few minutes”

He rouses Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

He went back to talk to His dad.

“No the others were asleep, they can’t stay awake, I just wanted a chat”

“I know it’s the same thing, I’m tired and I know my time is close”

“Guys! What are you doing? Stay awake with me!” They said nothing, they had nothing to say so he returned to his for a third time.

“Ok, sorry. Just help make me strong and prepare those I’m leaving behind to cope.”

“Most will be fine, I’m most worried about Simon Peter, he might lose the rag a bit, I’ll make sure John and James look out for him”

“I’d better get back to them, I’ll see you soon.”

“Love you”

He returned to them a final time “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up! Judas my betrayer is approaching”

Church today was a great service but I found it odd in a way, we start it very happy with Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem and move towards the sadness and pain of approaching crucifixion

Life and death.

I was reading in church this morning and these readings were a welcome help for me. I talked at the start of Lent that it would be different for me this year, not so much giving something up. Romans has always been a great help to me, I’ve started to appreciate Paul’s writing recently, some may differ. I was looking up the readings online when I was in Uni during the week and didn’t have my Bible and I came across this site with a reflection about each of the passages.

He says what I see in the passages a lot better than I ever could.

Comments by Rev. John Shearman

Summary:
ROMANS 8:6-11
Paul discusses two levels of existence: The
physical which will end when our physical resources are exhausted; and the
spiritual level with the ongoing assurance of life beyond death. Life
focused only in this world is the way to the death that is ultimately
separation from God. The spirit filled life is full of energy and intimacy
with God now and forever.
In depth:
ROMANS 8:6-11 Paul discusses two levels of existence or two principles of
life: the physical which will end when our physical resources are
exhausted; and the spiritual with the ongoing assurance of eternal life.
It is difficult for us who have a relatively comfortable existence with
moderately effective support systems to contemplate exactly what Paul meant
by this contrast. We find it all to easy “to set our minds on the flesh”
and leave whatever lies beyond to theological argument.
In many respects, Paul may have been recalling the two ways of life the
Deuteronomists had set before Israel: the way of life and the way of death.
But the Deuteronomists emphasized obedience to the law of the covenant as
the means of assuring the Israelites a life of security in the land
promised to their patriarchal ancestors forever (Deut. 30:19-20). It is
here that Paul differed with his ancestral tradition. He had a totally
different scenario in mind. Life focussed only on this world and on
satisfying one’s natural impulses is the way to the death that is
ultimately separation from God. This is the end for those who “set their
minds on the flesh.”
Paul wrote after the resurrection of Christ and Pentecost, when the Spirit
the prophet Joel promised would come “in the last days” had actually been
“poured out” on the Christian community. As he says in vs. 9, “the Spirit
of God dwells in you.” For him, the Spirit-filled life is full of energy
and intimacy with God now and forever.
Thus Paul was not dreaming of an other-worldly existence “in the sky by and
by.” He knew full well that every human life must be lived in the real
world. It was the kind of life one lives that is so important to him.
This is nothing short of the life of Christ in us made real and effective
by the work of the Spirit (vs. 10-11).
Equally important in Paul’s thinking is the empowering action of God,
Christ and the Spirit in the life of the ordinary Christian. Nowhere in
the NT is the activity of what the church subsequently defined as the three
Persons of the Trinity more clearly expressed. In this passage the three
are virtually interchangeable. Paul goes so far as to use the two phrases
“the Spirit of God” and the “Spirit of Christ” in successive sentences. He
had fully comprehended the truth that God acted in Jesus Christ, not only
throughout Jesus’ human life and ministry, but especially in raising Jesus
from the dead to be the living Christ present to all believers through the
Spirit actively changing our lives here and now (vs. 11).

Strength and tenderness

This blog was co-written by my brother, his part is the blue type font.

Lent 4.

Halfway through the struggle of Lent, how’s the non chocolate time going?

When I was thinking about today’s post I looked up on-line for what the readings were and found that the Old Testament reading was meant to be Samuel going to anoint David, great passage I thought.
However when I turned up in church this morning in Hamilton after getting wrong directions, I came in to hear the reading from Exodus of Moses being placed in the reed basket. Ah, Mothering Sunday. Good call.
That’s one thing I have noticed about this Lent period, a lot of things have been impinged upon, main events like Valentines Day, Mothering Sunday replacing Lent 4 but also smaller things.

Today’s reading reminded me of a line in the Creed we use at St Paul’s Dundee, “with a father’s tenderness & mother’s strength”, which seems strange as normally the mother is usually given the tenderness attribute & the father the strength.

However what strength it must haven taken Moses’ mother to give up her son.

What strength it must have taken Jesus mother to live with the knowledge that a spear would pierce her side also.

So considering these the line no longer seems surprising, in fact it seems that mothers are not given the recognition for their strength.

I propose that this Mothering Sunday we consider the strength of Mothers, particularly the strength of Mary as the shadow of The Cross is cast over this second half of Lent.

Doug & Gordon Aitken

A generous Lent?

Lent doesn’t always have to be doom and gloom, with devotion and “giving something up”, it can be filled with happiness.
St Paul’s Cathedral, Dundee escaped from Lent yesterday (we sang Alleluia in the recessional hymn! *) as it was the Institution and Installation of the Reverend Lindsay McKenna as Rector and Provost of the Cathedral and you could feel it.

As much as I am enjoying Lent and how it is helping me, I was glad for the reprieve. What I want to pass onto you is something the Reverend Philip North** said in his sermon. “Generosity is not about how much you give, it is a measure of how much you hold back, in this God is extremely generous as He holds nothing back”. Personally I think the greatest proof of this is that He gave His only Son to be born a human, live life on this earth and endure all the hardships that he encountered, culminated on Good friday when he died on a cross like a criminal for your sins and mine. Mind blowing.

That, my friends, is being unreservedly generous.

How can we be more generous during Lent?

* "In accordance with Canon 22 of the Scottish Episcopal Church the Bishop is authorising the Cathedral as a place of liturgical experiment and renewal." ** Administrator: The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham ** Administrator: The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham