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Lent and Beyond's Lenten Meditations series continue: CaNN and GadgetVicar
Prydain ^ | 4/15/2006 | Will

Posted on 04/15/2006 11:28:04 AM PDT by sionnsar

Catching up on the Anglican Bloggers' Lenten Meditations series from Lent and Beyond, I would like to call attention to Fr. Binky's (from CaNN) Sermon for Good Friday and Eclipsed? by the Rev. David McCarthy of the Gadget Vicar blog. This has been some series of meditations, hasn't it? I have benefited greatly from this series and I thank everyone who has been involved in it.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
Sermon for Good Friday
Filed under: General (uncategorized), Lent 2006, Anglican Bloggers Lenten Devotionals — webverger @ 10:35 am

The crowd shouted: “CRUCIFY HIM! CRUCIFY HIM!” (St. John 18:33)
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The love of God is never so strong as when it seems weak.

What shall we say of this day? To love is to choose suffering– whether a mother or father for a child; a husband and wife choosing better and worse, sickness and health, until death; a grown child caring for an ailing or dying parent– the only way not to suffer is to allow your heart to die: a living death, closed to redemption, closed to God’s way and Christ’s blessing.

This gives us the key to understand the meaning of this Holy Week, of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the mounting conflict with the religious authorities, the Last Supper, the betrayal, the mocking and rejection and the Cross: humble and suffering love.

What shall we say of this day? This day when long ago outside the walls of Jerusalem, all the darkness, the tide of hate, the anguish and alienation, the despair and mental pain, the bloodshed and trespasses great and small, our failings and folly, our excuses and shrugs, our entire separation from God consumed our dear Lord Jesus Christ?

O this day, when all this every and everywhere falls like an avalanche upon the cross, upon one tortured man who is yet the Son of God! What shall we say of this day? It has been said that the power of suffering and evil can destroy all things– one thing alone stands firm: almighty love.

That love, not matter how punished by the lash, or by blows, or by torture, or by nails, will not be cast out. That love, no matter how rejected or mocked or spit upon, will not turn to hate or revenge or escape at any cost. By his free choice, his chosen and costly self-offering, Jesus turns a piece of plotting, violence and betrayal, a judicial murder, into redemptive suffering and love.

That love is most powerful when Christ offers himself freely: despite his lonely fear and prayerful sorrow in the Garden of Gethsemane, he takes upon himself “the anguishing terrors of a lost soul… the reality of eternal death.” (William Law). He takes upon himself all these things– even the sense of the utter loss of God. Angels comfort him, but the bitter cup remains.

So it is that almighty love hangs weak and seemingly defenseless upon the cross, and yet the spiritual darkness which rages around him, which he feels in his dying flesh, cannot kill Christ’s love: all the forces of sin and death and hell which he takes into his bosom cannot make his love into something else. Here is a love which is stronger than all things: the love which spoke creation out of chaos, the love that speaks a new creation in the momentous and chaotic events of Good Friday, the peace of Holy Saturday, and the bright victory of Easter Day.

St. John wrote in his Gospel: “THE LIGHT SHINES IN THE DARKNESS, AND THE DARKNESS HAS NOT SWALLOWED IT UP .” (1:5). The love of Christ is tested to the breaking point and beyondB but he is not overwhelmed: he will not drop us or let us go.

So with his dying breath he shall say “IT IS FINISHED“– this is not a cry of despair or defeat, but in the Greek ‘tetelestai’: it is completed, it is fulfilled. In the time of Christ, the same word tetelestai appeared on the top of business receipts, meaning ‘paid in full’, and on the top of prisoner’s sentence sheet, after time served; victorious Roman Generals would cry in a victory parade: Tetelestai! = mission accomplished!, Enemy defeated! — this word conveys the meaning of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. Christ said of his passion “I LAY DOWN MY LIFE FOR THE SHEEP… NO ONE TAKES IT FROM ME, BUT I LAY IT DOWN OF MYSELF.” (St. John 10:15, 18). By his stripes we are healed, set free, paid for, victorious, enemy defeated.

Healed. Saved. Paid in full, by the sinless suffering love of Jesus. God is never so strong as when he is weak. We are never so strong when we admit our weakness, and He becomes our strength.

Have you ever considered the fact that Jesus actually bought you when He shed His blood and gave His life? Paul reminds us of this truth: “FOR YOU WERE BOUGHT AT A PRICE; THEREFORE GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR BODY AND YOUR SPIRIT, WHICH ARE GOD’S” (1 Cor. 6:20).

To redeem us, Christ took it all– the shame and the death– therefore there is nothing which is not his. His soul goes down to death– there is nowhere where God is not. The Valley of the shadow of death now stands in the greater shadow of the cross; the land of the dead is swallowed up in Christ. He takes our sin and death and damnation upon himself, and by doing so, he heals it, making it his own.

As we walk the road, we are never alone; we have a companion on the way. He is truly human, as we are, one of us; and he is truly one with God, the eternal and living Son of God. Love is victorious, and the living love walks with us, even Jesus Christ.

In his novel The Brothers Karamazov, the Russian author Dostoevsky has the character of the elderly holy man say:

At some thoughts a man stands perplexed above all at the sight of human sin, and he wonders whether to combat it by force or by humble love. Always decide: ‘I will combat it by humble love.’ If you resolve on that once for all, you can conquer the whole world. Loving humility is a terrible force: it is the strongest of all things, and there is nothing else like it. ( p. 376)

This conquering and loving humility of Christ means that the crucifixion of Good Friday is a hidden victory, to be revealed to the spiritual world first, and then to the world on Easter morning. Christ dies that he may rise from the dead, to deliver us from death and terror– the meaning and victory of the cross shines into the world, love is openly shown to be stronger than hatred and unforgiveness; life is stronger than death; humble love in the Son of God is stronger than sin and the worst we could do, and all the fallen powers of hell.

Let us weep, and tremble, and give humble and heart-felt thanks. An ancient prayer captures the spirit of this day:

A dread and marvelous mystery we see come to pass this day.
He whom none may touch is seized;
He who looses Adam from the curse is bound;
He who tries the hearts and inner thoughts of man is unjustly brought to trial;
he who closed the abyss is shut in prison;
He before whom the powers of heaven stand with trembling stands before Pilate;

The Creator is struck by the hand of his creature;
He who comes to judge the living and the dead is condemned to the cross;
The destroyer of Hell is enclosed in a tomb.
O thou who dost endure all these things in thy tender love,
Who savest all thy people from the curse,
O long-suffering Lord, glory to thee.

(Hymns of Great And Holy Friday, Apostichon of Vespers)


Today’s entry is by the infamous “Binky the webelf” of the Classical Anglican Net News (CaNN) WebLog. You can read other entries in the series here. Although Fr. “Binky” likes to play an elf on the internet, he is in reality an Anglican priest in Canada. He started providing “hot & fresh” Anglican news on the web in 1998, and founded the “CaNN blog empire” in 2003, with Mike the Hirsute TechElf.

1 posted on 04/15/2006 11:28:05 AM PDT by sionnsar
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To: All
David McCarthy: Eclipsed?
Filed under: Lent 2006, Anglican Bloggers Lenten Devotionals — Karen B. @ 6:07 am

This is the forty-second in a series of daily Lenten devotionals by a group of Anglican bloggers and friends. Today’s entry is by David McCarthy of the Gadget Vicar blog (whose entry about the Scottish Lent blog inspired our Lenten collaboration. Thanks David!). You can read other entries in the series here.


And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
— 2 Peter 1:19

eclipseToday is a day for contemplating the darkness of a world eclipsed by sin. A world without hope or a future, apart from God and his grace.

As we wait for the light of Christ to dawn, we are made to think again of the darkness of our own hearts, and the sin of the world. We mourn for what is lost.

Sin eclipses light. We marvel at the experiences afforded by this eclipse, but a deep gloom encompasses us. We see the tantalising corona of light, yet are powerless to dispel the darkness.

The darkened world remains in eternal eclipse, and, oblivious to the possibility of the coming light, goes its own way. We are in the thrall of darkness. Dead in sin.

coronaBut the Light breaks into, and through the darkness: dazzling, like a diamond ring bearing the promise of eternity.

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life, not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to us through the gospel.
2 Timothy 1:8-10

A Family Prayer for Holy Saturday

Mother or a child: “May our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who alone by his powerful word governs all things, yet has buried the shame of the Cross and iron bonds, who has broken the bars of the bronze doors and has descended into hell, who has shone with the brightness of a new light on those who were sitting in the shadow of death — may he, the sun of justice, rising from the tomb, shine upon our darkness with the marvellous light of his risen Body.”

Father: The women sitting at the sepulchre

Family: were weeping and lamenting for the Lord.

Father: Let us pray. O God, who makes this most holy night illustrious by the glory of the resurrection of our Lord, preserve in the new children of your family the spirit of adoption which you have given, that, renewed in body and soul, they may give you a pure service. This we ask of you through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son.

Family: Amen.

Father: Let us bless the Lord.

Family: Thanks be to God.

Father: May the almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless and keep us.

Family: Amen.

— Prayer Source: Holy Lent by Eileen O’Callaghan, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1975

GadgetVicar is Dave McCarthy, Rector of St Silas’ Episcopal Church, Glasgow, Scotland. He also coordinates the Scottish Anglican Network. He’s looking forward to visiting the USA as he speaks at a Renewal Conference at Kanuga, 25-30 June.

2 posted on 04/15/2006 11:29:25 AM PDT by sionnsar (†† | Iran Azadi 2006 | 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0urs (SONY))
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To: ahadams2; meandog; gogeo; Lord Washbourne; Calabash; axegrinder; AnalogReigns; Uriah_lost; ...
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-9 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar, Huber and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:
More Anglican articles here.

Humor: The Anglican Blue (by Huber)

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

3 posted on 04/15/2006 11:29:50 AM PDT by sionnsar (†† | Iran Azadi 2006 | 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0urs (SONY))
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