Archive for May, 2016

‘Compassion, the matter at the heart of it’

‘Compassion, the matter at the heart of it’

 

Dear Friends,

Just before today’s Gospel story, Jesus heals a Centurion’s slave in Capernaum. And here in Nain we see Jesus coming to town meeting the funeral procession of a mother’s (and widow’s) only son. Jesus had compassion for the woman, and – for her sake, not for the sake of the young man – he revived the deceased.

 

Jesus Christ healed, cast out demons, raised the dead, not only to show his power as a prophet, but more importantly to herald the coming of the Kingdom of God. He did it to begin turning the hearts and minds of people broken and enslaved by sin, sorrow, fear, and loss towards hope and light and life. And he did it by foreshadowing in his teaching and preaching, in his actions and interactions the great redemption that would be won through him and in him, a redemption of us and, ultimately, of all creation.

 

The story of the revival of the widow’s son at Nain is a confirmation of God’s faithfulness, it is a confirmation of the compassionate heart of Jesus, and it is a confirmation of the Gospel call to prioritise compassion in all of our dealings. Jesus’ compassion is certainly the central operating force in both stories. And it is good news indeed that his compassion is for everyone – whether male or female, slave or free, Jew or Gentile, living or dead.

With love and prayers: Mo. Andi

 

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Corpus Christi

‘Be what you see. Receive who you are. Corpus Christi – Freedom Food’

 

Dear Friends,

Some years ago now, I heard a priest at the moment of invitation for all to come forward to receive Communion say, “Be what you see. Receive who you are.”

It got my attention. It resonated. It was outrageously presumptive, and made a connection for me that I had never made before. How is this who I am?

Be what you see. Receive who you are – a Eucharist that is life changing, world changing. Corpus Christi – Freedom Food. We are to see, receive, and become … the Body of Christ … not just to satisfy our own piety, or feel more connected to God, but to be renewed as agents of the Holy Reign of God that the Christ teaches, models, embodies, and then hands to us—literally in our hands—so that the world will hear, and know, and be changed.

This is the Body of Christ. This is the cup of salvation. Be what you see. Receive who you are. Corpus Christi – Freedom Food. In Christ, we are already free, and we must be continually nourished with freedom food. We must take and continue to take the food and the drink that is the message and person of Jesus Christ. To what end?

So that the incarnate, embodied, reconciling Christ will continue to have eyes, ears, and hard working and generous hands in the broken world that God yearns to call back into relationship. How shall we be? Corpus Christi, Christ’s Body in the world.

With love and prayers: Mo. Andi

 

 

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Trinity Sunday

‘Give me a simple religion,’ we sometimes yearn. But a grandfather figure with long white beard, a 30 year old male and a dove, if that is it, God in all essence understood and comprehended, what is godly about that?

So often we give the belief in God the Trinity over to academic theologians, and thank goodness there is intellectual reflection on this central reality of who God is. But this belief and experience belongs equally to poets, hymnists and song-writers, artists, and storytellers. And even more, it belongs to all of us, because it describes the magnificent love that God has for us.

We are baptised into that love. We are welcomed into that love. We abide in that love in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. We are held in the arms and embrace of that love. Love humbles us. For God’s love may be found well beyond the “individualism” of our personality, family, race, religion, language, politics, causes, or culture.

We see in God our Creator, our Redeemer and our Sanctifier the primary call and purpose of the Church to announce that love and to proclaim the welcome to that love…to everyone, everywhere, and always. This belief reminds the Church that loving relationship is both at the heart of God and at the heart of the identity and our call as the Body of Christ. ‘God so loved’ is ultimate Good News, and an urgent thing, inviting, no, propelling us to engage in lives which proclaim that love, which announce it broadly and live it hopefully.

With love and prayers: Mo. Andi

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Unity

In our Gospel reading today Jesus asks God to give us unity.

The pattern for the unity of believers is unlike anything else on earth. It is nothing less than the unity of the Father and Son. It is a unity that is grounded in the being of God and in the saving activity of God in Christ. It is not merely a unity of organisation, purpose, feeling, or affection. Just as the Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father, we are to be so related in the church. We are drawn to, called one to another because we are drawn to a common centre, Jesus Christ Himself.

Desmond Tutu once said: “Our Lord prayed solemnly for the unity of his followers because the credibility of his own mission depended on it. […A] united church is a far more effective agent for justice and peace against oppression and injustice.”

That is what we are called to be and encouraged to show forth in the world. Jesus has given us his example throughout his earthly ministry, to live up to and live accordingly to our likeness to God. And that God calls us to live as examples and imitators of Jesus his Son, and thus to become partakers in God’s bringing about of his kingdom. For that work in his name, may God give us his blessing.

With love and prayers: Mo. Andi

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