And Jesus said ‘Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.’
And to which I say, thank you very much, I think you have all been brilliant.
Today we celebrate All Saints. In the Church of England we celebrate different men and women of God throughout the year. And yet we also recognise that we are all called, and called to be, - Saints. The meaning rooted in being holy, set apart for God, to be marked for heaven.
At all saints, we hold this in tension. On one hand the lives of those who inspire us, the Church Triumphant now in heaven, and on the other hand our own lives offered to God as holy, set-apart, as Saints. And in particular we remember those whom we love but see no longer who inspired us in our faith and relationship with Christ. The saints unknown to the wider church, but well known to us, without whom we would not be set apart for God, marked for heaven ourselves.
(This piece was originally posted in October 2011)
How do you read the Bible? How we approach the scriptures is affected by a number of factors, such as our church background, our upbringing, even our personality.
To some of us the Holy Scriptures are rather like a huge catalog of treats. We seldom start at one end of the book and work through rather we pick and choose the bits we find appealing - although if you use a daily lectionary you are disciplined into trying a little bit of everything.
For others of us the Bible is more like an instruction manual. Some of us feel the need to read a manual from cover to end before we even began assembling something, others only turn to it when the flat-pick wardrobe of life is looking wonky.
For others of us the Bible is like a long reference work, it is full of verse numbers after all. Perhaps we have a verse for every circumstance in life without ever quite getting a hold of the context.
For others of us the Bible is a short story book, full of mysterious and wondrous tales of faith – we may know the popular ones, but tend to skip the sections without a good narrative or a happy ending.
For some the Scriptures are a book of Worship, Psalms, Songs and canticles, wonderful liturgies, but not often used outside the confines of built sacred space.
Following recent discussions some folks have been asking questions about different expressions of Charismatic Christianity. The Charismatic movement is huge and impossible to define into easy movements. So instead I am going to focus on three streams (representative rather than exhaustive).
1.What is the difference between a baptism and a christening?
Baptism is when someone is submerged in running water, or has water poured over them in the name of God, Father Son and Holy Spirit. Christening is when a bottle of champagne is smashed on the pointy end of a ship. Your local church will be happy to provide either service for your family.