Tag Archives: Father forgive

What does a Christian apocalypse reveal? (Advent 1A, 1 December 2013)

Readings
Isaiah 2.1–5
Matthew 24.36–44

 

We’re starting a new Church Year today, Year A in our three-year cycle. In Year A, most of the Gospel Readings come from the Gospel According to Matthew. As usual, on the first Sunday of a new year we start not at the beginning of the story but at the end.

We heard a snippet from towards the end of Matthew 24 today. Commentators sometimes call this chapter the ‘little apocalypse’ (along with the parallel passages in Mark 13 and Luke 21).

If this is a little apocalypse, is there a ‘big’ apocalypse? Well yes, there is; it’s the Book of Revelation. The word ‘apocalypse’ means ‘revelation’.

These aren’t the only apocalyptic writings in existence. We have the Book of Daniel; but two thousand years ago, there were many other apocalyptic books around the place. Apocalyptic was a type of literature, like science fiction, fantasy or historical fiction.

What is apocalyptic writing about. I’ve said that ‘apocalypse’ means ‘revelation’— but what comes into your mind when you hear those words?

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Christ the King/The Reign of Christ (Year C, 21 November 2010)

Your sins are forgiven

Readings
Luke 1.68-79
Colossians 1.11-20
Luke 23.33-43

Last week, I began by talking about a phone call I received while I was in placement in Biloela. That wasn’t the only phone call I had while I was there. One Monday, an elder rang me to ask if she and another elder could arrange a time to speak with me. They didn’t say why. Did I do something wrong in the service yesterday? I wondered.

The next day, they came to see me, two ladies in their sixties, me then in my thirties. Two ladies who had been active in the church all their lives. I was a little daunted by them back then. (I wouldn’t be daunted now!)

This is why they wanted to see me: they wanted to tell me in person of a wonderful discovery they had made. It was this: for the first time ever, they had realised their sins were forgiven.

Remember, they had been part of the life of the church as long as they could remember. But the message of forgiveness had never sunk in. Why had they grasped it now?

It was simple, really. Every week now they were hearing these four words:

Your sins are forgiven.

And they were responding with these four words:

Thanks be to God.

And the penny had dropped. They were among the forgiven. Has the penny dropped for you? Have you realised that you are forgiven?

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