Becoming the people of God

About a month ago I accepted the invitation of one of our parishioners – Peter – to go gliding with him. It is certainly an incredible experience as you are towed up a couple thousand metres by an old crop-duster, and then once you reach the designated height the cable connecting you to the plain is released and then you are on your own – somehow managing to glide and soar up there – and not crash. Rather cool – especially because the only noise (still fairly considerable) is of the air rushing past – you don’t also have the vociferation of motors. (more…)

Seated at the right hand of the Father

The Feast of the Ascension can strike us a quite bizarre affair – especially to one who grew up on a diet of science-fiction and imagined that Jesus somehow managed to add flying and living outside of the atmosphere to his walking-on-water and multiplying food – as well as raising the dead and getting through locked doors (after being resurrected from the dead). So today I want to allow St Paul’s powerful prayer in Ephesians to inspire us to look deeper into the truth behind the feast, and particularly to consider what it meant for Jesus to be seated at the right hand of God. We begin with the description of the burnt offering in Leviticus 1.

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Recorded at St Paul’s, 5.30pm (12’29”)

Love beyond walls

In the first century, the standard expression of the Jewish faiths was strongly influenced by the Pharisees, the most populous of the many forms of Jewish sects that were active at the time. Unlike other groups which were often on the fringes of Jewish society or groups such as the Sadducees which were deeply embedded in the very narrow world of the Jerusalem temple and its rituals, the Pharisees were widespread and mainstream, and consequentially able to influence most pious followers of the kingdom of God.

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Prepared for heaven

Bastien Joseph Isaiah Madrill, 18 April 1996 – 26 April 2012

It is always with a certain hesitation that I attend to a call like I received last Thursday evening, to visit a family’s home after the death of a loved one. Although you have been invited, you are never quite sure what will await you when you arrive, and I am keenly aware of the sense of barging in and intruding on what has to be one of the most intimate and sublime experiences that any family will journey through.  (more…)