Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Easter Tuesday


St Matthew 28: 18 – 20

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 
Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.    Teaching.  Teaching takes a lifetime of learning to listen and  learning to  put what we have learned into action.   Before Easter,  St Matthew's  Cathedral in Brandon had a minister's estate library available for anyone to take the estate books for free.   And being good Presbyterians,  we love the word "free".   We  dived into the tables and tables of books at least three times,  each time bringing home boxes of books.      Last Wednesday we chose our last free books.  One book I picked up was all dog-eared and well loved.  The title was  "Reading and Decency".    What an odd title.   But when I opened up the book to see what it was all about,  my eyes full upon the publisher..... Society of St John the Evangelist.   This was an Anglican Society of Brothers in Bracebridge Ontario.   The Order is no longer,  but the books they used to publish are worth their weight in gold.   This book that I was holding,  "Reading and Decency" is all about the proper stances and postures for Minister's in the Anglican Church as they celebrate Communion.  What a gem!    The book was published in 1945.
As I read this new -to-us book,  I am struck that we have lost a lot of our understanding of "Reading and Decency".    We  must relearn and reteach the  foundations of our  Gospel.   Let us  go forth this day,  ready to learn and ready to teach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Prayer:  Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Let us bless the Risen Christ.  We give our thanks to God,  Alleluia!  Alleluia!  May the God of peace who raised to life His only Son,  our Lord,  make us ready to do His will each day and in each moment.  May  the God of love who raised to life the Lamb of God  strengthen our hearts so with one voice,  we can go and make disciples of all peoples.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.  Now and forever.  Amen.

 

Monday, 21 April 2014

Easter Monday


St Matthew 28: 18 – 20

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

What command did Jesus give the disciples?  Does Jesus give this same command to us today too?  What are we supposed to do?

 

Prayer:  Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Let us bless the Risen Christ.  We give our thanks to God,  Alleluia!  Alleluia!  May the God of peace who raised to life His only Son,  our Lord,  make us ready to do His will each day and in each moment.  May  the God of love who raised to life the Lamb of God  strengthen our hearts so with one voice,  we can go and make disciples of all peoples.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.  Now and forever.  Amen.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen Indeed!


St Matthew 28: 1 - 10

28 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Prayer:  Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Christ is Risen!  Christ is Risen Indeed!  Truly Christ has risen!  Lamb of God,  You gave Your life so that we can live in the love of God each and every day.   Keep us,  Your family,  in the love of Christ.  Renew us in body and soul so that our whole lives may be devoted to Your service.  Through Jesus Christ,  Your Son,  Our Lord.  Amen.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Holy Saturday


St Matthew 27: 62-66

62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

 

So,  what did Jesus do on Holy Saturday?   Was he in the tomb or was he someplace else?   The Holy Scriptures tell us a bit but it was the belief of the Church Fathers during the writing of the Apostles Creed that  Jesus descended into Hell and the third day he rose again from the dead.    Jesus was with the dead.

 

Prayer:  O God,  it is Your will that we should be baptized into the death of Your Son our Saviour,  give us true repentance that we may pass with him through the grave and gate of death, and be reborn to new life in joy,  through him who died, was buried, and who rose for us,  Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. 

(Taize  “Praise in all our Days”  Mowbray, 1981).

Friday, 18 April 2014

Good Friday


St Matthew 27: 32 - 44

32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.

38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

 

We come to Good Friday.   The insults and horrors are poured upon Jesus.  So why is this day called “Good”?   In the ancient Church,  it was probably called “God’s Friday”… the Friday when God sent his Son to be crucified and died.   Today we call this day “Good” because we know the rest of the story.  The crucifixion and death of Jesus didn’t end on this day.   We know that on Sunday,  Jesus had risen from the dead.  The Resurrection…. A time of joy and peace in believing.  Christ our Redeemer.  Christ our Deliverer.  Christ our Saviour.

 

Prayer:  Lamb of God,  You take away the sins of the world.  Hear our prayer.   Lamb of God by Your humble birth and teachings, You came into our hearts with love.   Lamb of God, by Your agony on the cross, You came into our hearts with compassion for others.   Lamb of God, by Your wounds and Your death,  You strengthen us for Your work in this world.   As You hung on the cross we know that Your tears soothe our pain and grief.  As Your body was broken and Your blood poured out we know that it was a reminder of Your resurrection and forgiveness of our sins.  Thanks be to God. Amen.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Maundy Thursday


St Matthew 26: 26 – 29

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

 

Sharing a passover meal with family was, and still is,  part of the Jewish tradition of remembering the saving grace of God. Jesus says that his blood is poured out for the forgiveness of sins…. Does this bring you comfort?   Why or why not?    This Passover meal became for us today  the Lord’s  Supper.  Each time we celebrate the Lord’s  Supper we remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us and we give thanks.
Each time we sit together and eat a meal,  we remember the love of God.     Today,  remember to give God thanks each time you eat (yup,  snacks included :)    
 

Prayer:  Lamb of God,  you take away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.  Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,  have mercy upon us.    Lamb of God,  you take away the sins of the world,  grant us Your peace. Amen.  

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Holy Week Wednesday


St Matthew 22: 41-46

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”

“The son of David,” they replied.

43 He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says,  44 “‘The Lord said to my Lord:     “Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies     under your feet.”’ 45 If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” 46 No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.

 

Why could the Pharisees not respond to Jesus?  What question did Jesus ask them that had them stumped?   Do people ask you questions about your faith?

 

Prayer:   Great God,  when our path looks dark and our burdens grow beyond our strength,  remind us that You are a God of love.  Increase our faith so that we become Your light to our journey and lay our burdens down at Your feet.  Help us to leave our darkened paths and burdens behind so that we can go forward to meet Christ with palms of joy in our hands,  for Jesus will lead us into Your eternal joy.  Amen.