Showing posts from August, 2012

This week's Sunday Gospel: Jn 6.51-58

More bread of life!
At a cursory glance, this week’s Gospel, John 6.51-58, looks much the same as the past few doses. Jesus tells us, yet again, that He is the bread of life, the living bread which comes from heaven, not the manna given by Moses but the bread that gives eternal life, yada, yada. You’d think we’ve got the message by now.
But the point of this passage is that by and large, we haven’t. No matter how many times Jesus told his listeners, they really didn’t get the message. And so this time, when Jesus tells them that the bread that He will give is his flesh, they think he’s talking nonsense. “How can this man give his us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus hears them, and answers even more strongly before. He had just told them that they must eat his flesh, using the typical Greek word phagein. But now, in verse 53, reiterating and emphasising, he uses another word: trogein, ‘chew’ or ‘gnaw.’  Most translations just leave it as ‘eat,’ but surely Jesus is using a different word be…

On Anglican dress

So much for those who claim not to be from 'a robed tradition' - that'd be the C of E, then? 

New service: combined Wedding, Baptism ... and Funeral


The Assumption: A second death is superfluous

How much of a mother dies when she sees her own son executed? Enough that a second death is superfluous. This is one narrative aspect of the feast celebrated by the whole Church since at least the fourth century every August 15th and called variously the Assumption or the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The tradition maintains that Mary did not die as the rest of us do. Her son loved her so much that he took her directly into union with Him, granting her instantly the bodily resurrection for which the rest of us must wait until the end of time.
The Church of England never rejected the Feast of the Assumption, but retained it officially as the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary. And indeed, Mary's importance in the narrative of Christian salvation should not be underestimated. It was she who was chosen to bear the Son of God and raise Him in the faith, and more fundamentally it was by her 'fiat' - her saying 'yes, let it be' to God at the Annunciat…

The Good Shepherd - Mark 6

Ah, the Good Shepherd. Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, looking after us, his woolly wards. All those chocolate box pictures of our Lord replete with blond curls and somewhat suspiciously effeminate eyes with a sheep draped over his shoulders like some grande dame's ermine stole. Well, all I can to say to that image, is - "baah."

Yes, here in Mark 6, Jesus is portrayed as a good shepherd. Yes, our Lord cares for his flocks, he tends for them and - in the bit the lectionary has cut from the middle of today's reading - he feeds them in their thousands with food of miraculous generation. But! But, the disciples, the people who are supposed to be closest to him, his followers, his church, are not among those flocks.

Think about the story as Mark tells it. It's the other folk who are so eager to see Jesus, the other folk who believe in his miraculous powers, the other folk who are fed and even healed by him. Remember the woman with haemorrages? - 'it was your faith t…