Daily Archives: April 4, 2010

The International Staff Songsters in Sweden: 2 Songs for Easter

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

The Heidelberg Catechism on Easter

Question 45. What does the “resurrection” of Christ profit us?

Answer: First, by his resurrection he has overcome death, that he might make us partakers of that righteousness which he had purchased for us by his death; (a) secondly, we are also by his power raised up to a new life; (b) and lastly, the resurrection of Christ is a sure pledge of our blessed resurrection. (c)

(a) 1 Cor.15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: Rom.4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. 1 Pet.1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (b) Rom.6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Col.3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Col.3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Eph.2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Eph.2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (c) 1 Cor.15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 1 Cor.15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 1 Cor.15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. Rom.8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Theology

Dolly Parton – He´s alive

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

In pictures: Easter around the world 2010

Eight in all–check them out.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Globalization

A Prayer for Easter (III)

O God, who by the glorious resurrection of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ hast destroyed death, and brought life and immortality to light: Grant that we, being raised together with him, may know the comfort and strength of his presence, and rejoice in hope of thy everlasting glory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be dominion and praise for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

Truth and Fiction at Easter

”˜One morning you will see in the newspapers “Moody is dead”. Don’t believe it! I shall never be so alive as I will be that morning.’

–D.L .Moody (1837-99)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter

The Archbishop of York's Easter Sermon 2010

Believing in the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth has the following implications:

1. It carries a pledge of the future resurrection of believers, for ‘though in Adam all die,

in Christ all shall be made alive’ (1 Corinthians 15:22).

2. Jesus isn’t a memory, but a living presence ”“ even the dearest memory fades.

3. Jesus isn’t a figure in a book but a living person to be met.

4. To be a Christian isn’t about knowing about Jesus, but one of knowing Jesus and trusting him implicitly.

5. There is an endless quality of life offered by Jesus Christ. He isn’t simply a model for life; he is a living presence to help us to live.

6. Christ did for us that which we couldn’t do for ourselves: He died ‘with us’, ‘for us’, and ‘instead of us’. And his Resurrection cut us loose from the chains of death and made it possible for us to be given new life in a new community for all, where God’s will is being done.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

Glad – Easter Song

The music is from the Second Chapter of Acts originally (a verse was later added by Keith Green). Listen to it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Archbishop Rowan Williams' Reflections on Easter 2010

Watch it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter

The Archbishop of Sydney's 2010 Easter Message

What’s it like to live in Sydney? Great. Great Climate. Great food. Great people. Great sights. ”¦just great.

Outwardly that is true. But is it so within our hearts?

A Sydney psychiatrist, Dr Tanveer Ahmed recently claimed that in his experience our glittering city contains so much loneliness:

”˜Increasingly I have been called to patients, rich and poor, with vague physical complaints only to realise they merely want someone to talk to.’

He suggests that may be as many as one in four people lack a close confidant to talk to.

So, you can have it all and still be miserable.

The Christian message is about restoring relationships.

First, our relationship with God: that is what he was doing at the first Easter, when Jesus dies to take away our sins and restore our friendship with God.

Then, our relationships with each other. As a result of what Jesus did we are meant to reach out to each other, to care, to love, to serve.

We are not meant to be alone. That is a major social problem. At its heart, is a spiritual problem and we need to seek God’s solution through Jesus.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter

The Eucatastrophe

The Resurrection is the eucatastrophe of the story of the Incarnation ”” This story begins and ends in joy.

— J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Poetry & Literature

The Archbishop of Canterbury's Easter Sermon 2010

…the New Testament suggests there may be something more at work when people fear the gospel and the cross. Our second reading today hints at this. As so often in these early chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, St Peter underlines the fact that the resurrection of Jesus means that the one who was so decisively, annihilatingly, dismissed by the religious and political establishment of the time is the one who will decide the destiny of every human being. We shall all be judged by our response to him, to the divine and human person who has carried the cost of our mindless violence, our pride and self-satisfaction, our reluctance to face the truth. The court of final appeal in all human affairs is Christ; how we define ourselves in relation to him is a matter of life or death.

This is not about some fussy insistence on saying the right words and joining the right organization, as if St Peter were simply recruiting members for the Christian club. Jesus himself reminds us starkly in the gospel that we may be seeing him where we think we can’t see him or don’t know him ”“ and that we may be failing to see him when we’re making all the right noises about him. One day we are all going to discover in the presence of God who we are and how we stand with God, whether we can bear the presence of God for eternity; and in that moment of discovery, what will be crucial is how we have reacted to and understood the gift of God in the life and death of a man rejected and tortured to death.

The preaching of Peter and Paul and all the witnesses of the Risen Jesus says that two basic things are demanded of us. First: we must acknowledge our own share in what the cross is and represents; we must learn to see ourselves as caught up in a world where the innocent are scapegoated and killed and where we are all unwilling, to a greater or lesser degree, to face unwelcome truths about ourselves. We must learn to see that we cannot by our own wisdom and strength cut ourselves loose from the tangle of injustice, resentment, fear and prejudice that traps the human family in conflict and misery.

And second: we must learn to trust that love and justice are not defeated by our failure; that God has provided from his own strength and resourcefulness a way to freedom, once we have become able to recognise in the face of the suffering Jesus his own divine promise of mercy and life. The resurrection is the manifesting to the world of the triumph of a love that uses no coercion or manipulation but is simply itself ”“ an indestructible love. The challenge of Easter is to believe that God is not defeated by the most extreme rejection imaginable.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

The Bishop of Down and Dromore’s Easter Message 2010

The story of Easter is told this year in a context where many of our key ‘institutions’ are under serious scrutiny -and it is right that it should be so. Institutions are necessary for the ordering of society, but they can take on a life of their own and become self-serving. That applies, of course, not only to the institutions of politics and society, but also -and equally- to the institutions of the church, which can be just as fallen, just as sinful, and even more profoundly disappointing, because they claim to exist for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Holy Week is a time when the institutions of Jesus’ day are exposed for what they really were. Judas, the financier of the disciples, had become selfishly attached to money, and was prepared to sell his soul for a few pieces of silver. Pilate was a political leader without the courage of his convictions, prepared to wash his hands of decisions which would not gain the popularity of the masses. And the religious leadership of the day was not prepared to brook any opposition to their status and control – even if that meant destroying the Son of God.

In the midst of it all, Jesus stands out, both in one sense as the victim of the institution, and as the perfect example of One who knew what was truly important for the human spirit – a deep and loving relationship with the Heavenly Father, which is beyond and above any religious structures, and can never be contained in human systems.

Institutions do actually matter in society: we would be in chaos without them. But this week is a serious reminder of their weakness and Easter Day is a confirmation of something even more important to grasp: that the power and life of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is set and seen even more clearly when we find ourselves in the context where human institutions let us down. Institutions grow up, and institutions have their day, but the power and reality of the living Christ endure for ever.

May you have a truly blessed Easter in the presence of the Lord of Life.

–The Rt. Rev. Harold Miller

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter

The Bishop of Durham, Tom Wright: The Resurrection is Reality with a Capital R

Jesus of Nazareth was certainly dead by the Friday evening; Roman soldiers were professional killers and wouldn’t have allowed a not-quite-dead rebel leader to stay that way for long. When the first Christians told the story of what happened next, they were not saying: “I think he’s still with us in a spiritual sense” or “I think he’s gone to heaven”. All these have been suggested by people who have lost their historical and theological nerve.

The historian must explain why Christianity got going in the first place, why it hailed Jesus as Messiah despite His execution (He hadn’t defeated the pagans, or rebuilt the Temple, or brought justice and peace to the world, all of which a Messiah should have done), and why the early Christian movement took the shape that it did. The only explanation that will fit the evidence is the one the early Christians insisted upon – He really had been raised from the dead. His body was not just reanimated. It was transformed, so that it was no longer subject to sickness and death.

Let’s be clear: the stories are not about someone coming back into the present mode of life. They are about someone going on into a new sort of existence, still emphatically bodily, if anything, more so. When St Paul speaks of a “spiritual” resurrection body, he doesn’t mean “non-material”, like a ghost. “Spiritual” is the sort of Greek word that tells you,not what something is made of, but what is animating it. The risen Jesus had a physical body animated by God’s life-giving Spirit. Yes, says St Paul, that same Spirit is at work in us, and will have the same effect – and in the whole world.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

A Prayer for Easter (II)

O God, who by the glorious resurrection of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ hast destroyed death, and brought life and immortality to light: Grant that we, being raised together with him, may know the comfort and strength of his presence, and rejoice in hope of thy everlasting glory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be dominion and praise for ever and ever.

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