Monthly Archives: April 2015

Easter Day 2015

The Lord is Risen, alleluia, alleluia.
He is Risen indeed, alleluia, alleluia.

Happy Easter everyone. Thank you for following our Lenten Blog.
This is the last entry for this year.
I finish with the sermon for Easter Day.

A few weeks ago a much loved member of our church family, Angela, died.
Her funeral ended with a rousing rendition of her favourite hymn:
Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine, which we have just sang,
Or has Angela always called it: This is My Story.

Those who knew Angela will know that she lived her life
with great physical limitations, but despite the limitations of her body,
or maybe because of them, she lived life with a soul that knew no limitations;
a soul that shone brightly and flew high.
Hers was a soul that touched so many with its beauty and wonder.

Why was that? Because Angela knew about Easter.     She knew instinctively
that Easter was not just something that happened once in the past,
or that it was a festival that we celebrated once a year,
but that it was her story, and her song –
the story and event that shaped her life and shapes our world.

You see we are not just called as Christians to celebrate Easter,
we are called to be an Easter people;
a people who are called to live the Easter Message ….
that our God is alive and kicking; and that the world is full of God’s wonder and Glory.
To live the Easter Message until it becomes “Our story” and “Our song”.

We become part of the story and the song of Easter,
not by stepping back from it and by admiring it from afar – but by entering into it.
It becomes “Our story” and “Our song” through our participation in it;
By allowing ourselves to be charged with its grandeur,
be changed by its wonder, and be touched by its power.

The Easter message is not merely about what God has done for us,
but about the possibility of what God can do within us.
This day can remain for us the Easter story – or it can become My Story.
Holy Week and Easter is the story of life. The story of my life and yours.
It opens the door to new possibilities, to new ways of being,
for ourselves and for our world.

Are we going to participate in it, or merely celebrate it once every year?
Angela made it her story. This morning, in his baptism, Henry is making it his story.
May we, as we too get sprinkled with the Easter baptismal waters, make it our story;
And be saturated, and brought alive, by the Easter message.

The Lord is Risen.   Our God is alive and kicking.
This is our story, this is our song.   Amen.



We live in 2 worlds. We live in the world of time and the world of eternity
We are very much aware of living in the world of time.
It imposes itself upon us.
We always seem to have too little time or too much time.
We are aware of trying to make time or save time or of wasting time.
In fact, life often seems to be somewhat of a battle with this thing we call time.

That is because we forget that we also live in the world of eternity as well.
Eternity does not impose itself upon us in the way that finite time does;
it calls to us gently and quietly; it waits for our attention patiently.
Eternity is not time we can use, or save, or make;
it is simply something we can surrender to and allow ourselves to be open to.

The mystic, Meister Eckhart said:
Time makes us old but eternity keeps us young. How true!
Time makes us aware of our limitations, but eternity helps us be aware of our potential.
We often make the mistake of thinking that we live in the world of time now,
but that eternity is something that we will discover sometime beyond this life.

But the time and eternity are not 2 separate worlds they are part of each other.
We live in both time and eternity right now.
Eternity, said Saint Augustine, is the “Now” that does not pass away.
Eternity anchors us in the Divine,
it keeps us aware that we come from a divine source,
and that there is infinitely more to who we are than we can ever imagine.

This night of all nights reminds us that we are dwellers in both time and eternity.
Maybe it’s just me that over romanticises this Holy Night
but can you not feel that great presence of eternity right in the very midst of us.
The very atmosphere is alive with something awesome and tangible.
Time seems to stand still or as Augustine says: the Now is not passing away.

We are standing in a sacred moment of time and eternity when the 2 become one;
and awaits that momentous occasion when the Risen Christ
once again bring healing and wholeness to our world.

But this moment is not just a once a year occasion; it is a reminder of what is.
Every time we worship together, share Eucharist together, pray together,
laugh together, cry together, recognise beauty together;
we surrender to the eternal now and allow it to touch our lives and our world.
And in the eternal now flows the eternal love that unites us all.

So on this holy night let us surrender to eternity and know that eternal truth:
That in each moment we stand on the threshold of life in all its fullness.

Holy Saturday is a beautiful day of anticipation. We have gone through the painful events of Good Friday and we begin to look forward to the joy of Easter. In the morning we have a workshop and egg rolling for the children at which decorated hard boiled eggs are rolled down a slope to see who can get the furthest – it gets quite competitive! The egg rolling symbolises the stone rolling away from the tomb as we begin to look forward to the resurrection of Christ.

Saturday evening is probably my favourite part of the week as we light the New Easter Fire; process into a darkened church; with the newly lit Easter candle; listen to the beautiful Easter proclamation being sung; hear readings of God’s saving acts and renew our baptismal vows at the font. The service ends with the sharing of the Peace and an eager anticipation of the wonder that is still to come.

The sermon for the Evening service will appear later.


This is the day that God took responsibility for the world he made and loved.
God took responsibility for all the joy, the wonder, the beauty
and the awesomeness of creation.
God took responsibility for the pain, the sin, the anguish, and the horrors of the world.
The whole of Jesus’ life was, in fact, about taking responsibility.

When he saw the poor being neglected,
he took responsibility and reached out to them.
When he saw the marginalised being condemned,
he took responsibility and stood up for them.
When he saw the religious hierarchy become too certain of their righteousness,
he was not afraid to challenge them.
When he saw the money changers and the entrepreneurs
making the temple into a market place – he took responsibility and drove them out.
At the last supper when the disciples sat there with hot dirty feet,
wondering who had been assigned to wash and dry them;
Jesus took a bowl and towel, took responsibility, and washed each of them in turn.

When Jesus saw that an enormous act of love and self-sacrifice was needed,
to break the power of sin, hatred, and selfishness;
he took responsibility, received his cross and made that long journey to Calvary.
This is the day that God took responsibility for the world he made and loves,
and opened the gate of glory.

God now calls us to take responsibility ourselves and open the gate for others.
God calls us to take responsibility for all the blessings in our lives;
to recognise them, give thanks for them, be grateful for them,
and allow the blessings to take root in our lives and share them with others.

God calls us to take responsibility
for the difficulties, the sorrows, and the burdens of our life;
to take responsibility for our mistakes, our sin, our guilt,
and the crosses we are called to bear.
To receive them, to stop apportioning blame for them to others or to ourselves,
but to live them prayerfully and willingly.
To live them prayerfully and willingly as an offering to God, as Jesus did,
and allow God to use them in an amazing way,
to open the gate of glory for others and for ourselves.

Good Friday is the day of transformation,
the day when everything finds its place and meaning in the presence and love of God.
Jesus took responsibility to make it so,
are we prepared to take up his call, take up our cross and follow him?





Perhaps one of the most agonising things about being human
is our ability to do or say something that we later deeply regret,
knowing there is absolutely nothing we can do to undo what has been done or said.
There are moments when we would give anything to rewind time
To go back to that moment before we screwed up and have the chance to do things differently.              
But life doesn’t work that way, does it?

On this holy night I wonder what Judas or Peter would have given to rewind time?
Words of betrayal and denial that they knew Jesus took with him to the cross.
How can you feel anything but compassion and sorrow for Judas,
who, for whatever reason, set in motion such a tragic series of events?
Or for Peter who wanted to be a hero but became frozen by fear?

Judas could not live with the aftermath and took his own life;
Peter’s denial was redeemed, but who knows the anguish he must have gone through.
And yet, it was this betrayal and denial that also set in motion the events
that would eventually show us the only way to redeem our careless actions and words.

In the events that will unfold again in the coming days we will experience once more
Jesus taking our fragile human nature to new heights and possibility.
We can never undo what has been done but Jesus showed us that through love
our failures can be transformed and woven into something new and positive.

Jesus took all our failures, messes, and catastrophes to the cross of Good Friday
And there held them before God in the most profound and wonderful love.
On the cross he embraced human vulnerability with such a powerful compassion
That heaven’s love poured, and overflowed, and saturated this world with its wonder.

While we cannot put the clock back we do not have to live in an endless loop
of regret, recrimination, guilt, resentment and hopelessness.
Our human fragility has been embraced and saturated in divine love,
and all we have to do is surrender to that love, and allow it to guide us ….
on how to forgive ourselves and others.

This holy night is dominated by human weakness and failure; by betrayal and denial;
that took an innocent and holy man to the cross.
And yet God took that weakness and failure, that betrayal and denial;
transformed it by love, and used it to bring healing and salvation to a broken world.

We cannot undo the mess and chaos we so often create,
but we can surrender it to God who has a knack not only of transforming it,
but also somehow using it as an opportunity for healing and redemption.



Maundy Thursday

Today begins what is known as the Easter Tridium.
It begins with the Mass of the Last Supper in the evening
and concludes with Easter Mass on Sunday.

Before that begins though there is the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral
where clergy renew their ordination vows
and Oil for anointing is blessed by the Bishops
and taken back to the parishes to be used in ministry.

At 8pm we celebrate the Mass of the Last Supper.
Mass is followed by a vigil until Midnight,
when we sit with Jesus in Gethsemane before his arrest and trial.
The vigil is held in silence but includes Prayers at10pm and Compline at 11pm.

The sermon for this evenings worship will be added later.

Holy Wednesday

A saying that I find myself reflecting upon again and again is:
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
They are the words of Mahatma Gandhi.
It is a call for each of us to take responsibility.
It is a call to take responsibility for the ills of our world and society
and not merely stand there pointing the finger at others.

It is so easy to look around us at our world, our community, our family, our church
and to contemplate the changes we would make to improve them.
And the changes we would normally make would be changes to others.
The blame game has been going on since the beginning of time.
“It was the woman you gave me – she gave me the fruit to eat.”
“Don’t blame me, I wouldn’t have dreamt of eating the fruit if it wasn’t for that serpent.”
It all kicked off there and we have been playing the game ever since.

Well, it’s a natural game to play.
After all I can’t be blamed for the really bad stuff. Can I?
I may have a bit of a temper but I certainly would not murder.
I may be jealous of others wealth at times, but I wouldn’t dream of stealing from them.
I may feel strongly about issues of injustice, and myself feel unjustly treated at times,
but I wouldn’t dream of committing an act of terrorism.

No, the blame always lies somewhere else.
And I guess for those who do commit murder it was because they were provoked;
and those who have stolen, because they were forced into it through desperation;
and those who plant car bombs only do so because the world won’t listen.
It is always somebody else to blame.

Taking responsibility does not mean we begin to blame ourselves instead,
there is nothing positive to be gained from that.
Taking responsibility means that we acknowledge that we all contribute to society’s ills.
Our attitudes; the things we say and do; the way we live our lives –
all have a bigger impact than we can imagine.

Both for good and for ill we daily feed our world with the way we live our lives.
That is why Gandhi said:   Be the change you want to see in the world.
In other words: stop playing the blame game and be willing to take responsibility.

This Holy Week let us make a commitment to stop playing the blame game,
and to be aware of the times that we do play it.
Let us allow changes to take place in us that will bring benefit to our world.
Instead of blaming others Jesus took responsibility……………..