Monthly Archives: November 2009

First Sunday in Advent

I have been unwell these past two weeks and unable to raise much interest in blogging. I was back at church yesterday, but didn’t take the services; I left that to my colleague, Rev Dr David Rankin.

In the morning, we had a great time starting to build up a Jesse Tree with the children. David preached in the evening, and I asked him to make his sermon available:

1 Thessalonians 3. 9-13; Luke 21. 25-36

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN.

The first Sunday in the season of Advent – the first Sunday in the Church Year – begins the liturgical journey towards one of the two great feasts of that Church Year (the other being Easter Day), the Feast of the Nativity of the Child, the Coming of the Christ, the Sending of Christ, the Christ-mas.

Purple is the ancient royal colour and therefore a symbol of the sovereignty of Christ and is thereby connected to the final Sunday of the Church calendar (last week), the Feast of Christ the King. [There is a sense in which the Feast of Christ the King both prepares us for Advent and the coming of the King but also is the culmination of the year; the season of Advent at the beginning of the year anticipates the coming of the King, the Feast of Christ the King at the end recognises and celebrates his having come.] Purple is also associated with repentance from sin (which is why it is also the liturgical colour for the season of Lent leading to Easter). Advent is a season of spiritual preparation for the celebration of the birth and the sending of Christ (for Christmas – the Christ-mas – means the sending of the Christ) and looks forward to the future reign of Christ. Eschatological expectation – a waiting for the Last Days when Christ will return in glory and triumph with the gathered saints – rather than personal penitence (again associated primarily with Lent) is the central theme of the season. Advent is a preparation for rather than a celebration of Christmas but it begins the Christmas season.

Take a moment with me now: what does Advent (the Coming) mean for you? What does the first Advent mean for you? How does it inform, shape, determine your approach to discipleship? What does the second Advent (the Second Coming of Christ, of Christ Risen, Ascended, Glorified, with all the saints) mean for you? How does it shape your present living and your hopes for the future?

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Hooray for Rowan Williams on the ordination of women

Speaking in Rome, Rowan Williams (Archbishop of Canterbury) is absolutely spot on:

The Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday made his most outspoken challenge to the Roman Catholic Church since the Pope invited disaffected Anglicans to switch to Rome.

Speaking before he meets Benedict XVI tomorrow, Dr Rowan Williams told a conference in Rome that the Catholic Church’s refusal to ordain women was a bar to Christian unity.

“For many Anglicans, not ordaining women has a possible unwelcome implication about the difference between baptised men and baptised women,” he said.

This really needs to be said, said often and said loudly!


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Sharing in the mission of God

As we listen for the word of God, let us pray:
God of the poor,
you see the generosity of those with little to give,
and you witness the greed which does not care;
open our eyes to the dignity of each person,
that we may work with you
for the coming of your day of justice;
in Christ’s name. Amen.

Readings

Ruth 3.1-5; 4.13-17
Psalm 127
Mark 12.38-44

Some months ago, we worked on a vision statement for our congregation. Do you remember it? It’s

Living God’s mission
as disciples of Jesus
united in the Spirit.

I’d like to talk about mission today. I want to talk about our vision statement a line at a time.

Living God’s mission

Whose mission is it? It’s God’s mission. Not ours. Sometimes we hear people talk about the mission of the Church. The Church has no mission other than to share in what God is doing in the world.

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“There’s no evidence that people want to use these things…”

San Francisco Examiner, John C. Dvorak, 19 Feb. 1984

The nature of the personal computer is simply not fully understood by companies like Apple (or anyone else for that matter). Apple makes the arrogant assumption of thinking that it knows what you want and need. It, unfortunately, leaves the “why” out of the equation — as in “why would I want this?” The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a ‘mouse’. There is no evidence that people want to use these things. I dont want one of these new fangled devices.

I saw this in Daring Fireball (original article here), and it’s so ironic…

I’m using a new Apple Magic Mouse to write this, and I’m loving it… I want (and now have!) one of these new-fangled devices…

John C. Dvorak should ask me!

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