Author: Adrian Kitson (page 1 of 24)

Clothed Right

Sermon, Pentecost 2C, June 23, 2019

Luke 8:26-39

26 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes,[a] which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.

30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission.33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37 Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.

38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

I can’t help but think of people I have come across or heard about with huge mental illness challenges when I hear of this Geresene man living outside of town in the graveyard without a thread of clothing, in a constant state of fear and alert, and scars all over his self-harmed body.

What has happened to this man? How did he get like this? What went so wrong and where are his family, his friends?

And what on earth is Jesus doing out here in this danger zone of death. He is a Jew in unclean, unknown Gentile territory on the far side of the sea.

We are watching this happen with the silent disciples. They say and do nothing in this whole account. Maybe they are still shell-shocked after that scary night on the sea they have just experienced – when even the wind and sea obeyed Jesus’ command to be silent. They are silent now…

We don’t even go into town. Instead, we head out to the fringe of this fringy place. We meet this dangerous man who cannot be chained by chains but is totally chained by the dark side, the demonic, the pain the isolation, the self-harm, the lostness.

“Legion”. His own name does not count anymore. He is ‘Legion”

 For people in the ancient Roman world, “Legion” had only one meaning: a unit of approximately six thousand occupying, seemingly all-powerful Roman soldiers. Romans rule. Roman control. Roman take your freedom and use it for their gain. Same for demons. They are pretenders and parasites.

This man is controlled. There is nothing of himself left it seems.

I have to ask: Is this account anything to do with me? What is Luke saying. Is he asking hard questions: “Am I controlled? Are you?

“No”, you might quickly say. “Not like this guy, anyway!”. He is crazy. I am not crazy…….am I?”

I heard this poem…..

I AM LEGION
I am the lost one trapped in depression;
I am the broken one trapped in my rage;
I am the hurting soul chained to addiction;
I am self-harmer abused at young age –

I am the many-name victim of madness,
my humanness naked, nowhere to hide;
drowning like flotsam in cold seas of sadness,
wracked by despair until bits of me die;

haunted by fear, or strange inner voices;
tortured by dark thoughts in pitiless tide . . .
Blame me? Shame me? And what other choices –
fear me? Ignore me and let my needs slide?

Gerasene brother, when you met the Christ
who banished the illness into the swine,
your healing came without judgment or price;
mercy itself helped bring rightness of mind.

But note still the fear of those who kept score,
finding you clothed, sitting calm and at peace.
Madness is feared, but is mercy feared more?
It’s Christ, not Legion, who’s asked there to leave.

Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

Still sure you are nothing like this “Legion” man? Maybe I am controlled by things or people like this man as his people were controlled by Rome and by evil.

Remember the Commandments? Remember the First Commandment?

Love the Lord your God with all of your strength, soul and will…..

Luther saw that this first commandment is the ONLY commandment. The rest are how you break this one. To steal is not trust God for your wealth. To sleep around is not to trust the Lord for his unconditional faithfulness to you. To gossip is to mistrust the Lord’s words about you – that you are his loved child and etc….

We all battle with trust issues – we will desire just about anyone or anything more immediate than the promises of God. And as we do this, we are as controlled by them as this man was.

CS Lewis named himself “Legion” as he describes his particular journey to faith in Jesus….

“Really, a young Atheist cannot guard his faith too carefully. Dangers lie in wait for him on every side. …..[I found that] ” All my acts, desires, and thoughts were to be brought into harmony with universal Spirit (Christ]. For the first time I examined myself with a seriously practical purpose. And there I found what appalled me; a zoo of lusts, a bedlam of ambitions, a nursery of fears, a harem of fondled hatreds. My name was legion.” (CS Lewis, Surprised by Joy)

“I found what appalled me; a zoo of lusts, a bedlam of ambitions, a nursery of fears, a harem of fondled hatreds. My name was legion.”

Now we are getting to it.

Let’s say you are Legion. Let’s say that Jesus is here in our darkness and death and doubt.

Will you allow him to cast these things out or will you do what the pig-herders and townsfolk did and ask him to leave you alone. They asked Jesus to leave them alone. And he did.

They were not willing to let this Legion of trouble be healed. They were not willing to allow Jesus to make them anything different, anything new. They could not see the new story, the new thing, the new creation of Jesus’ kingdom in their midst.

All they could see was the loss of money and the loss of the story they always told the tourist about the guy out in the tombs.

But now Jesus has gone and removed the legion of pain and suffering. Now this Legion man has a new name or two – Son, Child, Brother, Friend, Called….

Friends, that is you. That is me too.

By Jesus power and grace our self-harm is replaced with healed skin, our naked exposure to demonic elements is draped with beautiful new protective clothes of calm and forgiveness and peace down to our boots.

Our scrambling around for happiness, staying ahead, satisfaction and the self-interest, isolation and fear this causes us is cast out. With Jesus there is new calling for isolated, mentally suffering, controlled people.

My “zoo of over-driven desires, bedlam of ambitions, nursery of fears, and harem of fondled hatreds” are disarmed, cast out, kept in check only by this Saviour.

It seems that mental illness and Jesus are not mutually exclusive.

He is the one who comes to your gentile, unclean places when he does not have to and when few other can or will. He is the one chained for you by the Legion of Rome. He became fettered in chains, under brutal unjust rule for you; he is the one whose body was cut, not by his own hand, but by others, and yet at his permission, for you; he is the one who was lost from the community; was dead among the tombs, cast into the unclean gentile pit of hell in your place.

He enters into my zoo, my controlling desires, my bedlam, my nursery of fears and hatreds and kills them in me to raise me – daily.

He did it once for all in my baptism and still does everyday.

Reclaim that baptism day. It was the day this Legion of death was put to death in you in the tomb of the font and the resurrection to life of the font. It was a day like this day for this man. In your new right mind with his robes of righteousness on, trust that your baptism day is still active everyday.

Enjoy the healed wounds and the new clothes of his righteousness – his forgiveness with which to forgive, his kindness by which we be kind, his peace by which we face our issues and help others do the same, his compassion to give away any day. Enjoy being back in the village among friends with good food and a holy meal.

And tell them. Tell them all. We live here. This is our village. Like this new man we are called by Jesus to simply tell them about all that he has done for us.

Friend, you are no longer legion and no longer dead. Now you are the one with mastery over death. Your desires have been re-ordered and your life has been given purpose and really counts. You count because he counts you in.

To tell all over town how much Jesus does for you. (v 39)

Long Live The King!

Sermon, Ascension Day, June 2, 2019, St Petri

Acts 1:1–11 

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptised with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptised with[b] the Holy Spirit.’

6 Then they gathered round him and asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’

7 He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’

9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’

I am not sure we know what to do with Jesus’ ascension. Jesus’ birth, miracles, teaching and his death and resurrection get big coverage, and rightly so. But not his ascension. Ever tried finding an Ascension Day Card? You won’t find one among the crowded shelves of Easter Cards and Christmas Cards.

Why does this final moment get left off our calendar and left out of our hearts?

Maybe we just believe that the Resurrection is the final triumph and is all we really need. Death is dead. Jesus is alive. Our future is secure in him by faith. Why bother with this last little bit that kind of serves as an ‘ending for the Resurrection story’?

Question: If that is all the Ascension is – the bit that ends the Resurrection story, then why does Luke begin his next Book of Acts with it?

Maybe we think that the Ascension just spells the end of Jesus actually being with us? We think that maybe he is like one of those helium balloons. He just floats off up into the clouds never to be seen or heard from again until the end.

For now, it seems best to stay with those first things we know of Jesus, not this strange final bit. We resign ourselves to hanging on until we all “go to heaven with him when we die”.

And what about that ‘heaven’? So many of us believe that ‘heaven’ is this whole other place where only spirits go. So, the Ascension is Jesus’ spirit going to this other spirit place. Our eternal soul will go there too. So, Luke’s accounts of Jesus, seeming to go to this other place somewhere as a spirit does not really seem too helpful for living life on this human and earthy planet earth now.

Maybe we are not quite convinced about how Jesus was resurrected either.

There is a well known song by Keith Green we have often sung here: ‘There is a Redeemer’. The chorus gives it away.

“Thank you, O my Father, for giving us your Son,

AND LEAVING YOUR SPIRIT ‘TIL YOUR WORK ON EARTH IS DONE.

So, Jesus has gone to some other place. Only the Holy Spirit is left here. One day Spirit Jesus will come back again and take us eternal spirits to this other spirit place called ‘heaven’?

This flies in the face of the New Testament witness and this Ascension moment. Jesus was not just a divine spirit who entered a human body to get the job done and flew the coop back to his heavenly spirit place. Once resurrected, he spoke, he ate, he let them touch his wounds. Remember the wise guys in white?

This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven’.

Jesus is still Jesus after his defeat of death. Jesus was not a floaty non-human eternal spirit. Luke, John and Paul especially, speak much about this. Jesus was resurrected still human. He is still the one they know. He will be the same Jesus we know.

Friend, what if Ascension is the BEST thing, the fullest thing, the most complete thing in the whole account of Jesus? What if it wraps up Christmas and Easter and everything else Jesus achieved for us and puts it to work – here and now?

This Ascension moment is like a detonator. The birth, the life, the teaching, the miracles, the cross, the resurrection are the TNT waiting to be set offafter the resurrection; waiting to be set in perpetual motion, and the Ascension is the detonator that set them off; the thing that sets them off into explosive action (eg, Book of Acts).

Luke tells of the Ascension twice – once to end the telling of the gospel: the beginning of Jesus’ work, and once to tell of the beginning of the future of Jesus’ work in the Acts.

The ascension is both the crescendo of the whole symphony of grace already played, and the first note that sets off ongoing grace playing in a thousand places in the world; playing at a theatre near you!

The Ascension triggers everything that Jesus “did and taught from the beginning” into this now new era when he ‘continued to do and teach’ as his new creation; new kingdom; new sky and ground; new city and garden; new community come into existence, right in the middle of the old dying creation?

Can we give each other Ascension Day cards now?!

Why? To share the good news that Jesus never left and is always human as he is divine – with us that way now, and that he is available to all humans as the new way to be human now.

And even more: Because Jesus is doing something: he ascended to rule. Jesus does not ascend to the glory cloud to hang around in the clouds for ages doing nothing in particular. He has ascended to do something – to RULE this world, and to do so with us, who are named “co-heirs in Christ” (Romans 8:16-18).

The Ascension reveals that Jesus is active: active through us; not just hanging around doing a few odd jobs, waiting for the guests to arrive, but ruling this new creation, seeking his guests, tending his new creation right in the middle of the old one.

And by ruling, he does not mean by power or politics or war (as the disciples wish he would) but by grace and with suffering

17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Friend, the Jesus you know is the Jesus available to you everywhere always. He is all in all (Col 1:17, 3:11). His glorious cross fills your sky and all of his gifts of presence, wisdom, direction, healing, love and victory are yours today.

How do you know? How can you trust that this is you, and this future is you now? Baptism. You have died and risen with him.

“The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him”. (2 Timothy 2:11–13)

You are not just hanging around doing nothing in particular either! You, as a baptised person in Christ are involved in what he is doing. You fulfill the prophetic, priestly, and kingly roles for which Jesus has been sent and ascended and now rules through us his body on earth (Rom. 6:14; Gal. 4:1–7).

We are all prophets called to proclaim God’s Word, priests ordained to offer ourselves as sacrifices, and heirs resisting the Lord’s enemies as he expands his gracious rule (Matt. 28:18–20; Rom. 12:1–2; Rev. 17:1–14).

Let him set you off this morning! “Lord, light us up, set us off!”, we pray.

Pledge yourself to your King not from fear but pure joy. This life you have and this life we share as his body is not about us but about him. We are called into His Majesty’s Service to be his prophets proclaiming, priests praying, and co-hears resisting enemies of Jesus within us and in the world as the King expands his gracious rule.

Long live the King!

 

 

FUTURE HOPE NOW

Sermon, Easter 5C, Sunday May 19, 2019hope, tshirt, holding on to hope

Revelation 21:1–6

Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death”[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’

He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’

He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.

 

 

There are two guys given a job. The job is to put the widget on the wadget, the whole day long. They have this mind numbing, tedious job to do for one year.

One guy is told that he will be paid $20,000 for his year’s work. The other guy is told that he will be paid $20, 000,000 for the same job. How do you think the two guys will go about their work?!

One guy will be bored and lifeless. He will take as long as he can to get to work. He will spend most of his time telling his friends that his life sucks, his job sucks, and that he has got little to live for. He will display little hope.

The other guy on $20 million will be whistling to work every morning, offering to get the other guy a coffee every day, telling his friends that he loves his work, that he can’t wait for the future because it is so bright and his life and work make sense and mean something to him. He will be displaying overflowing (and annoying!) hope.

Your future shapes your present. What you know is going to happen in your future determines your now. What you hope in for your future directly shapes your living.

Did you hear your future this morning? I did.

Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’[a]for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband …..

Hang on. That is here – ‘a new heaven(sky) and a new earth,’. We are not floating off to it, but it is coming to us and it what we already know – in part: earth, sky, city, garden, river….

See how God’s heaven has nothing to do with this idea that our spirit gets to fly off to some cloud and play the harp all day long forever?!

How can this be?

Resurrection: Easter Resurrection: Jesus’ resurrection was not just a happy ending to the sad story of his life and death. Jesus’ resurrection was God doing this: bringing about his totally new creation right in the middle of the old one (Ephesians 1:7-10, 2 Corinthians 5:16-18, Galatians 6:11-15).

As you hear those post-Easter accounts and ponder this grand vision, you will hear the first Christians grasping for words to tell you the full magnitude of what happened.

They say things like;

Jesus is raised, so now you can believe that he is the long-promised Saviour of whom the prophets always spoke.

Jesus is raised, God’s promised new creation spoken right from the beginning and throughout the story of God’s people so far has begun.

All those promises about new garden, killing the serpent, the new temple of worship, the new people of worship – the Israelites in the desert and promised land, the stunning words of the prophets about a new creation, a new saviour, a new human, a new heaven and earth, David’s words about a new king and a new nation, Ezekiel’s words about a new heart in new humans in sync with God’s heart – all have landed here in Jesus in full.

Even more stunning: Jesus is raised not to be a floating soul but a human body still. Jesus eats and drinks and speaks as he always did. Jesus is called the ‘first fruits” of the tree. We are the fruit that has come after him. We can trust that we will also be raised in total – body, mind spirit – all of me, all of you and you will be still you and me still me but “glorified” whatever that looks like.

Friends, can you hear it: Your life is not centred on “going to heaven when you die”, but living in God’s new sky and earth now, and doing so humanly, bodily as all of you and every part of you and your life.

You might find this challenging because it challenges a very well accepted long held belief….

We do say we believe in the “(bodily) resurrection of the dead”, but I suspect that hardy any of us actually believe it. I suspect most of us actually believe some good old fashioned ancient Greek philosophy first spoken by Plato.

His idea was that we humans have an eternal soul that is imprisoned in the physical body and that when we die, that eternal spirit flies off to the great beyond. He separated the human being into parts – spirit and physical matter (body).

The two parts of different value – the spirit is our essence, the real you, the bit that really counts because it lives forever. The body then is nothing – just a shell, just something to leave, because it is temporary. Flight from it is the goal – like a moth leaving its cocoon.

But how?

In the East, the Hindu believes in an eternal soul: karma outworks itself in your life and you will come back after death, and depending on how you did, you would hopefully live on as a higher being. The Buddhist hopes that after death she will lose all identity and individuality and simply disappear like a drop in the ocean.

In our West, Renee Descartes was the one who said, “I think, therefore I am”. So, my eternal core identity; my spirit, the real centre of me as a parson is capacity to think, not my physical body. That means nothing.

Friends, this is not the biblical truth of who we actually are. You can see it here. God’s new creation is a new earth, new sky, new animals, rocks, trees, streams of living water; even a new city to live in.

And live we shall. Jesus was bodily resurrected. He ate, he drank, he spoke, he breathed, he cooked fish on the beach, and he had those wounds that death inflicted. As he is raised in the new creation, so we live now in the new creation – body, mind, spirit – all of you, all of me and not just in the future but now.

But how?

Baptism: When you were baptised you were buried with Christ and raised with Christ. You were what? “Born again”, as Nicodemus found out. New creation; that’s you. “All things made new”. Born again into this new creation right in the middle of the old dying one.

Can you trust that you are not just waiting to go to some far off spirit place when you die? We are being called to live now in God’s already begun new creation here – new earth, new sky; or shorthand – his ‘Kingdom”.

FUTURE HOPE NOW. This wonderful future already now is the $20 million plus!

And even more, if there could be more hope: There is no sea. There is earth and sky, but no sea.

Why?

For John as a non-sea faring Jewish person, the sea is always the place of evil, chaos, dark forces, murderous creatures that bring destruction and death into the world. There is no sea – no death, no destructive evil, no chaotic violence and terror, no tears.

There is water – “water without cost from the spring of the water of life”.

Jesus is the ‘living water’, you remember. The Samaritan woman at the well heard that. Jesus also thirsted on that cross of death. He thirsted for the water so we could have the Living Water for life.

We have tasted death this week and we will again. I don’t like it. None of us do. But God does not like it either. God has killed death. Death is actually dead as far as God is concerned.

We are not “going to heaven when we die” but heaven in coming to us so we can live.

Friends, Jesus is raised, death is dead. You were dead in your sin and now you alive in Christ.

And the dead? His beloved ones rest in him until that great final resurrection when all evil will be reckoned rightly, and all the living and the dead will be raised – some for this final complete new creation garden-city of living water without chaos or fear and evil or a tear of grief or pain, and hopefully hardly anyone for this old dying creation.

And that is where we are in this. We have work to do while it is still day!

We have hope to give sinners.

We have an earth to fight for and tend.

We have bodies to tend – our own and others’.

We have everything to give because we have future hope now. We will not miss out on a thing. The $20 million is a drop in the ocean!

Your future determines your now. It’s a good future. It’s a good now.

So, live and pray with Jesus everyday –

“Your new creation come, ‘on earth as it is in heaven’.

Amen

Less is More

Sermon, Easter Day, April 21, 2019, St Petri

Less is More (James the Lesser Drama – Skit Guys)

John 20:1–18

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!’

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped round Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

 11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’

‘They have taken my Lord away,’ she said, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ 14 At this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realise that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.’

16 Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’

She turned towards him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means ‘Teacher’).

17 Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”’

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: ‘I have seen the Lord!’ And she told them that he had said these things to her.

 

Who are you in the light of Easter? The ‘lesser’, the “greater”; somebody or nobody – and who makes you that?

James the Lesser, speaks up today. He may have had that strange name that sounds like put-down to our modern ears, but he didn’t stay “lesser” after the resurrection. The resurrection gave him new calling, new place, new name and new hope.  Same for us today.

Many believe this James wrote the letter in the bible that bears his name; James. He was probably a relative of Jesus, therefore called, James the brother of Jesus in some places. He was really important in this fledgling Easter resurrection community.

Paul tells us that James the Lesser was an eye witness of the resurrection of Jesus and a real ‘pillar’ of the early church (Acts 12:17), and a person whom Paul consulted re the preaching of the gospel at least once (Galatians 1:19; Acts 9:27).

But that was only after this day of resurrection. Before Jesus’ resurrection, things were different.

Names matter. The drama suggests that James started not only calling himself what they called him, James the Lesser, but thinking of himself that way too.

I could imagine that being possible in the troubled little community. Power plays and disputes were part of their experience. Even on the very night of the Passover, the one Jesus’ completely reconfigured into the Last Supper, just two days prior, a dispute had arisen as to who was the greatest among them (Luke 23)!

Maybe James did start naming himself, “Lesser” – less than everyone else. This is easy to do when trouble comes your way, as it did for him and this community around Jesus who were devastated at what had just happened.

All the grief and doubt act upon us…… James says he was the last one chosen by Jesus. Remember that experience at school: being the last one chosen? You know – when the teacher picked two captains who then picked their team for the game from the class?

The popular or sporty kids always got picked quickly in order of preference. Then there was the rest. That was a slower process. It came to an embarrassing halt when there was that one kid who was not sporty at all, or did not even place in the popularity race.

But whether you were that “lesser” kid who never got to be the top dog, or if you were the other person: the one who worked very hard to be top dog at the expense of all the ‘lessers”, all of that does not matter on Easter Day. It all changes today. No one is Lesser anymore! The only truly great One is Jesus. All of us just marvel together as one.

THE Top Dog became the lesser for us, so that we now stand with him and share his greatness – not in power over others, but in his free loving embrace of all the ‘lessers’ who ever lived and live now.

How are you this Easter Day? Are you the lesser who has been given the gift of forgiveness and hope by this resurrected Jesus that now makes you great; great as you stand resurrected with Jesus the Saviour in your baptism?

Or, are you still considering yourself lesser; refusing to let this good man with his good news in? Or maybe you are still believing you are actually great enough on you own terms, apart from this man’s cross shaped love?

Friends, we have to go to the scars and the food on that first resurrection day. What really turned things upside down was the wounds and the eating – the scars and the food.

Jesus appeared and they saw those scares and felt those scars and shared food with this resurrected man – more than once too.

Why does that make all the difference? Because those wounds and that eating of real food is the difference between Jesus just being a ghost of no use and the Saviour who transforms human beings by sheer love to be new love for his world.

The fact that his body was still a body and had wounds like ours and ate like we do is it the difference between us scratching around in the dark trying to find some floating spirit man by some means, and him embracing us humanly – in total.

The wounds and the food and the human words are the difference between a future in some far off unknowable eternal void, and the sure future with him living in his new earth and new heaven fully as we are – body and all.

Those wounds and that bread and fish also mean that Jesus was not just a figment of our imagination or a moment of divine trickery by which God only put on some human clothes for a while, and only ever felt those thorns, those strikes, those insulting words, that dark evil enclose him in a second-hand unreal kind of way.

Because he is still human after his resurrection, as Mary discovered near the tomb, we know for sure that he was before it.

We can trust that he went through this hell in all its hell as a human. That transforms him into not just an example to follow but the Saviour that truly transforms our minds to be new humans – new community, new love for a loveless world.

And, what about that meal – the Passover re-born where he says that a new closeness, a new relationship of grace is now given in his body and blood in the bread and wine of the meal we share?

Doesn’t the real presence of this risen Saviour with wounds and who eats make all the sense in the world now?

Doesn’t he revolutionise our faith and give us Easter joy every time we share him?

It I Easter Day. Alleluia!

I am not sure whether you have given up on this hope in the Greatest love the world has ever seen and his real presence with you always beyond his grave and yours.

I am not sure whether you have ever really been touched by this man of love and re-born as his loved woman or man.

I am not sure whether you have pretty much been living on your own manufactured hope.

Either way, we all end up “the Lesser” without this day: without him with his wounds and his meal.

James the Lesser thought of himself as forgettable before all this. You still might think of yourself that way – as if you are not as important as others, not as valued as others, not as memorable as others.

You might feel like you are standing around waiting to be picked by the captain with everyone else laughing about your lack of ability and the captain begrudgingly considering picking you for the team.

Not this captain! He is picking you not because you are good at the game but because he is and wants to help you play well in this game of life with which we love them all.

Easter is the ‘Captain’s Pick” and Jesus is the captain who does not pick people, name people or treat people as loved and accepted on the basis of their skills or status or skill or name.

The only reason James the Lesser and you whoever you name yourself at the moment are in this team is because Jesus picked you on this Resurrection day – the thief, the rich and the young, the old and the struggling, the good and the bad.

Friend, he is unforgettable because he is not dead, not just a memory, not just a dead guru or admirable leader who met an unjust end, not just a floating disconnected and unaware spirit.

He did it. He chose this cross and this empty grave and this human way. He chose you. He still does.

Funny thing is, now I don’t care if I am not picked first by others of this world.

I don’t care if I am ever picked by them.

I am just elated to hear him say, “Peace be with you” and breath his Spirit into me as he calls me to love as he loves.

Less of me and more of him is OK by me.

 

Famous Last Words – The Last Meal

Sermon, Maundy Thursday, April 18, 2019

Seven Words from the Cross – “Today you will be with me in Paradise”

John 13:4-14, Mark 10:17-27

After viewing The Rich Young Ruler

Pastor Adrian Kitson

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel round his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped round him.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’

Jesus replied, ‘You do not realise now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’

‘No,’ said Peter, ‘you shall never wash my feet.’

Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.’

‘Then, Lord,’ Simon Peter replied, ‘not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!’

10 Jesus answered, ‘Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.’ 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them. 13 ‘You call me “Teacher” and “Lord”, and rightly so, for that is what I am.

Can you feel his burning anger? Why is this young man so upset? He is looking at that thief on the next cross from Jesus, and he is white hot as he hears these words that pour out gifts of God on a person who has been trying to steel them from others! “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’, says the dying Jesus (Luke 23:43)

This has happened before…..

Remember? (Mark 10:17-27)

17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. ‘Good teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’

18 ‘Why do you call me good?’ Jesus answered. ‘No one is good – except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: “You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honour your father and mother.”[a]

20 ‘Teacher,’ he declared, ‘all these I have kept since I was a boy.’

21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’

22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23 Jesus looked round and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!’

He has it all but feels like he missing it all. Why so?

This young man is wealthy in two ways.

  1. He has great moral wealth. He is an honest man who has integrity. He is a good guy: probably a loving husband, good young father, who works hard and is fair in business.
  2. He has great financial wealth. In his day and even in ours, this moral wealth goes together with financial wealth. Obviously he is rewarded by God for his moral wealth. He is obviously blessed because of his good life. Wealth is an obvious sign that he is good. This guy is the ideal person to whom any religious leader would point as The Guy we all should aspire to be.

So good is he that he is even willing to concede that he is still missing something. He asks the Rabbi, “What do I lack?  What else do I need to do to be very good and get it all, Jesus? Whatever it is I will do it. Just tell me what I need to DO”.

With a moved spirit, Jesus says he is like a camel trying to get through the eye of a tiny needle.

Like so many who meet Jesus, he is confronted with the reality that even his best is not good enough – or even more – his goodness, or the thief’s badness, is not the thing that determines getting into Paradise with The Almighty.

This is most annoying for the hard-working good people who strive so hard to be so together in life, and absolute paradise for the unravelled thieving person.

How about you? Which one are you? Annoyed at God or singing his praises?

Jesus smashes this person’s two basic beliefs about life in God. This young man is looking for this final thing HE needs to DO; this final rung to climb that will get him through to the pearly gates based on two wrong assumptions;

Christianity is something he can add. This man thinks that life in Jesus depends on adding God in to YOUR life (as if it is your life alone). The theory goes that if you add in enough God-stuff, do enough holy stuff, then you get the God-reward.

He finds out that life with Jesus has nothing to do with simply adding in something God into your life. The thief was not successful at adding in much God-stuff and was given paradise with God!

Life with Jesus is not something add into YOUR life. Christianity is His life in yours. Jesus explodes inside of you and makes you altogether new, despite your goodness or your badness; whether       you are a self-sufficient, well liked achiever or a nobody with nothing and non-one – like that thief in his dying hours.

Jesus GIVES you life as pure gift. Jesus gives this thief what he could never steal! Jesus offers what this ‘together young man’ could never earn by being ‘together’ enough. Life is Jesus’ to give, not anyone’s to take.

You cannot steal Jesus’ life by being very, very good on your own terms or the world’s terms, or by being very, very bad and shunning the world and all its terms.

You think that there is one more thing you can do to get it all, one more rung, one more sacrifice, one more step. No way. Christianity adds you! Jesus includes you. You are not in Paradise already with Jesus because you were good enough for it but because he has given it as he did to that thief.

Christianity is something he can do. “What good thing should I do?”, he asks. “There is only One who is truly good”, says Jesus.

 Jesus asks him to do something totally impossible: give away everything he has. Why? To make it clear to all that “You have not, will not and actually cannot ‘do’ Christianity”.

That is the point of the impossible request made of a person who thinks they have done it all. You cannot ‘do’ your relationship with the Son of God because it is a relationship in which he ‘does’ you; he resurrects you.

This life in Christ is not a transaction, a sale, a step to achieve for your own life on your own terms. It is total resurrection to a whole new life of forgiveness and love in him.

Friends, I am not sure where you are at this Maundy Thursday – angry at God for not rewarding you enough for all your hard work; grieved the news that you will never be good enough to get it all or standing accused of being a nobody and a nothing by others or yourself.

You might feel like you could not have bled a drop of goodness that you have not had to steel from God, so stingy has he been to you.

You may feel like God is calling you a thief as you have been trying to earn; trying to steel all his blessing for your happy life.

You may feel like a freeloader who is just not able to get it all done and earn what you need.

You may feel like you have been ripped off working for God all these years only to see all these new people; these strangers, these people with different faces, values, different names, different shapes, be let into the kingdom with you!

However you feel, you have a moment to decide as the Teacher comes close: will you be Peter who protests against this offensive foot washing, or will you welcome it fully with head hands and feet as Peter eventually did?

Will you hold your ground and continue the lie that you can make your life better; fuller; more useful and meaningful and just ‘add in’ the church stuff to keep it all in place or will you simply throw your lot in with this very bad man on the next cross and say, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom”?

Whether you speak that prayer from the heart or whether you maintain your stand, there is hope.

The young wealthy man goes away grieved, and he is angry at the grace of Jesus, but he can still return at any time. You can return now.

It is so hard for a self-sufficient, “together” kind of person to receive him. It is like a camel trying to go through that tiny eye in the needle.

Who would you rather be tonight; the thief with nothing to give and everything to receive or the self-sufficient man with everything to lose?

‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom”.

‘Jesus, wash not only my feet but my hands and my head as well!’

Famous Last Words from The Cross

Hope to see you with us at Easter sometime.

Get the Donkey

Palm Sunday, Sunday April 14, 2019, St Petri.

Luke 19:28–40

28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, “Why are you untying it?” say, “The Lord needs it.”’

32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, ‘Why are you untying the colt?’

34 They replied, ‘The Lord needs it.’

35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’[a]

‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’

40 ‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.’

The disciple admitted he had ‘trust issues’ with Jesus. I get what he is saying.

Trust is hard for lots of reasons. It is hard to trust when we cannot see why something needs to happen that we don’t understand – like taking a donkey from a stranger for something we are not quite sure about.

It is hard to trust when we have been let down in the past. We did not like the feeling or where it led. We find it hard to trust because it means placing our destiny in someone else’s hands and those hands may not come through.

But what about spiritually? We find it hard to trust the freedom, faith and future of this new King of all kings, Jesus, for two reasons. 1. He is not like the kings we know or aspire to be, and 2. because we are all rule followers at heart.

Jesus is not your average king! He is different. He rules without rules dominating the ruling. What dominates in his ruling are not keeping the rules to keep the king happy but receiving the King’s gifts of love. He rules by freely forgiving, undeserved serving and lavish giving.

We find this hard to believe; hard to trust that he could mean what he says and do what he promises, to this degree and in this way.

This is because in our hearts we are rule keepers; rule makers. We actually want rules, even if we say we don’t. We need rules and we walk to their beat, whether we try and keep them all by being very good and expecting everyone else to be so too, or rebel against them as we be our own rule unto ourselves, and demand everyone else follow our own rules. We are rule shaped people.

Like going under the knife or going to an unknown place or meeting unknown people or putting ourselves into a position where we are taking on something new, we have “trust issues”, as the disciple here put it.

I would have wondered about ‘borrowing’ this donkey too! I can just imagine constable plod being quite unsatisfied with my seemingly lame excuse for stealing a donkey, saying “Because the Lord needs it”!

But other people, like professional lawyers and teachers of the rules of God (Pharisees) as well as local power brokers who had a lot to lose if they lost their grip on power also have trust issues. The more you have, the more you have to lose; the more rules you make the more rules you have to enforce; just ask any autocrat or mafia Don!

Strange people we are: In this Palm Sunday account, some people are faithful followers finding it hard to be directed by Jesus into an unsafe place (disciples). Other people; the Pharisees, who actually live in a very unsafe place when it comes to God’s acceptance of them, want to stay in that graceless place of fear, so much that they want to push the grace of Jesus out of their face.

And what about everyone else? The crowd here seem to be somewhere in the middle but very, very fickle. The crowd welcome this strange ‘king” with shouts heavy with long awaited victory hope at first, and then within a week, send up the violent unjust cry to get rid of this disappointing king as they yell, “Crucify him!”.

Easter is coming. It is coming for all three kinds of people; the faithful, the fearful and the fickle. Where are you at? Are you the faithful follower feeling unsure, or the adamant skeptic not giving an inch because of fear, or the fickle one who will trust anything that might fix your issues, until something or someone else turns up with a better offer or it looks like it just won’t work?

Whoever you are, can you see that something is happening? Something is happening that will transform our faith, our fear and our fickle following. We are here and you are here, and God’s Spirit is here, and Easter is coming.

Better still, can you see that God has been making good things happen for us a long time now? Can you see the font and the faces and the food of his Word on offer today?

Seeing what he has done and is doing helps us with any trust issue we may experience. These disciples eventually see what is happening; what this man of love; this strange new king is doing and that enables them to trust him.

Can you see something is happening as the King rolls into our lives again – albeit on a donkey?

Whether we are the follower unsure of the direction we seem to be being given by Jesus, or the cynic who is fearful of trusting this king who is upsetting our little world with his freedom and love which is undoing all the conventions, expectations and the very way we are all shaped, or whether we are the fickle crowd who just want some relief from grinding poverty of means or  body or spirit and will switch allegiance to get it, the issue is always trust.

The question always is, “Will I trust him?”, “Will we trust his direction when we don’t know why, and we cannot see where it will lead”?

This strange King will go on to earn our trust by his faithful, undying love for us. He will keep all the rules perfectly out of love (not fear) for those who could never keep them. He will willingly be wrongly accused and unjustly executed for all those who could not, would not or never knew that they could trust him.

This Servant King is speaking from the other side of his grave now. He says to you who may be faithful, fearful or fickle;

The Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,

    to know the word that sustains the weary.

He wakens me morning by morning,

    wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.

The Lord has opened my ears;

    I have not been rebellious,

    I have not turned away.                                                  (Isaiah 50: 4-5)

 

Whether you feel unsure as to what Jesus is asking you to do or cynical about who he is and what he is doing for you, or just needing some relief from all that is getting on top of you, he has the words that sustains you in all of it.

He is waking you up every morning and especially on Easter morning so you can trust him with your ears as you listen to his word for you.

He has not turned away from you. He has not turned away from his Father and yours.

So, who are you going to trust for faith, friendship, full love and full life?

See what’s happening this week. Go get his donkey. Without it, the rest won’t happen.

 Help him into your city; into your heart and mind; your friendships; your work.

Follow him into Easter. You will see again. You will see that he will do it all, say it all and give enough for trust to be possible for the faithful, the fearful and the fickle.

If you are going to trust anyone, it is him, right?

Leave her alone

Sermon, Lent 5C, Sunday April 7, 2019, St Petri.

John 12:1-11

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honour. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint[a] of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.[b] He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you,[c] but you will not always have me.”

Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.

I love being part of celebratory meals. Birthday meals, meals celebrating the end of medical treatment or the end of Harvest or Vintage, or a milestone for someone. Good friends, good gifts from God, good life, good food and wine…..

That is what these three siblings, Mary, Martha and Lazarus were doing: Throwing a thankyou meal in honour of Jesus. He had just done the unimaginable. He had resuscitated a dead man. And here he is, Lazarus, at the table enjoying and hosting this thankyou meal.

Martha serves the way Martha serves. She gets the catering and the house under control for this fine gathering. It is her way and it is a good way. Lazarus is at the table with Jesus and the disciples and other locals. He is a living testimony to the grace and power of this man whom they are honouring this Saturday night at the end of Sabbath day.

But Mary. Where is she? What’s her part? We are going to find out…..and it will make us squirm…..or jump for joy.

It must have been the smell that first drew their attention. They know smells. They smelled death just before this. Death stunk as Lazarus came out of the four-day tomb. Now the smell is sweet – sweet precious and very expensive oil imported from far away India.

She has a flask about the size of a soft-drink can and kneels at Jesus feet while he is reclining on his side at the low table with Lazarus and all the others. Mary pours this $25,000 bottle of perfume on Jesus’ feet.

If that is not enough to stop the chit-chat, then what she does next must have created a deaf silence with unspoken questions, feelings, wonderment and even anger just bursting to break out.

Mary weeps. Are they tears of thankfulness and joy or tears of grief anticipating what’s coming?

Using the precious perfume is over-the top. The tears are arresting. But then the next part of her serving is risky and offensive. She let’s down her hair in full public view (a real no-no for the culture) and uses her own hair to dry Jesus’ feet.

Mary is serving with her very self, her whole self, at great cost to her name but little regard to what anyone thinks.

Someone has to say something about this. It will be Judas. This is too much. This is pure waste. This is irresponsible spending. This is unnecessary devotion. How much could $25,000 do for the many people in this town who have got nothing and no hope of ever having any real life. There is no Centrelink here!

I can see Judas’ logic. I suspect you can too. But he is missing something. He is missing the main thing and the main thing is beyond logic. He is missing Jesus’ value, Jesus’ place, Jesus’ grace and hope.

Judas wants what Jesus can give him (money on the side) but he does not want Jesus himself. He wants the good stuff without the relationships. He wants the blessing without the following and learning. He wants the kudos from being around the king of kings without the suffering of the king of kings and a life of unfettered devotion to him.

John says as much as he reports Judas’ fixation on money and theft that goes with it. Of course, Judas will in a few days from now make about $1,000 for selling Jesus out. Quite a contrast the ‘all-in’ devotion to Jesus shown by Mary (and maybe Martha and Lazarus). ‘Where you treasure is, there your heart will be also”, Jesus said.

“So Judas”, Jesus says, “Leave her alone”. He could have said more about what they all knew about Judas, but he doesn’t….not yet. That will come….

Judas, leave her alone for three reasons

  1. Verse 8b: Leave her alone, because you do not always have me with you.

Mary knows the preciousness of Jesus’ presence and what he has meant for her and her siblings, especially her alive brother, Lazarus. She is right to give her all in devotion to me. Leave her alone Judas. She knows my high value; my grace, my forgiveness, my love and my power and how it makes all things new and brings hope beyond human hope to living now.

       2. Verse 8a: Leave her alone, because the poor you always have with you.

Judas, care for the poor, don’t dismiss them. But something is about to happen that is unique, world-changing, world-beating and person transforming.

God is close. God is acting. God is moving. God is here and this is very special. Your heart is wrong Judas. Your heart is out of kilter with my heart and purpose and it will kill you. It always does. Leave her alone Judas. Her heart is in step with my heart and purpose and this will give her life. It always does.

       3. Verse 7: Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. That is, leave her alone and don’t hinder her from keeping her love and wonder and joy in the face of my death.

In just a week’s time, she will need to treasure me on the day of my burial. She has been overjoyed at my power at her brother’s grave, and I want her to be overjoyed at the day over my own grave coming soon. Leave her alone Judas. Don’t infect her with your fixation on easy money and false piety.

So, who are you at the moment – fixated on the many important things that keep the family, the career, the well-being on the road or ready to give your life away on Jesus?

I know what it is to get fixated on the many issues of life. I know that it is dry. I know that vintage has been very limited. I know that we need a wet winter but it seems we may not get one this year. I know that many people are wondering what next summer will bring and who will go to the wall, who will lose the job, who will struggle…… You’ve got to think about that and make adjustments. That is the responsible thing to do.

But friends, we will always have these issues with us. There will always be money issues, people issues, well-being issues, marriage issues, family issues, climate issues, government issues and etc.

I believe the Spirit is calling us to want Jesus for real and trust him in all of it. He is calling us to do our thanks to the Lord as Mary did despite the cost, despite the misunderstanding friend or family member or society; despite current circumstance.

Easter is coming. It is OUR time of the year. It is when Mary will finally experience the presence not only of the earthly Jesus, but the glorified Jesus and she will never be the same. She will know life to the full in and beyond the bills and the fights and the problems and the concerns and the dollars or lack of. That’s the gift of this kind of devotion. We receive much more then we give!

Will you stick with the concerns of the world and family and business and career and etc or get on your knees and give yourself to him again in thanks and love for his love and power already at work in you this Easter.

Will you ask him to show you his worth to you and that your life is new this Easter. Will you hear his Famous Last Words from the cross and know the joy and the hope of Jesus that will make Judas redundant in you.

Yes, be quiet, Judas, because it’s your kind of mindset that would stand by Jesus’ grave and say: So much for that Messiah. So much for that way to succeed. So much for that way to get rich.

So, you be quiet, Judas, and let Mary and us keep this same love and hope when we stand by Jesus’ grave soon or we stand at each other’s grave whenever that happens.

Friends, be lavish with your devotion to Jesus this Easter because we have all died with Jesus in the font and been raise to his life purely and only because of his grace and his power.

Leave me alone, Judas. Stay with me Jesus.

 

Easter is nearly here -You’re welcome @ St Petri

NEW VIDEO RESOURCE – In the Basement

Hello everyone.

 

We are pleased to announce a new series of videos called

In the Basement. 

Conversations about things that matter

These are conversations that matter on four parts of our lives we all have to deal with: Fear, Anxiety, Shame and Guilt.

Doctors’ Noel Due and Kirsten Due talk about these things from a psychological, medical and biblical view in a relaxed and non-judgmental way.

Go here to view these excellent videos https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdQ7kCgDfjYziC1WKZJXZ1Yx-dbkHGfTP

 

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