April 18, 2011

"Living in God’s Future – Now!" (Easter Sermon from N. T. Wright) [Romans 6.1–11; Mark 16.1–8 a sermon at the Easter Vigil in Durham Cathedral, Easter Morning 2009 by the Bishop of Durham, Dr. N. T. Wright. Highlights and bolded sections are my additions.] ‘If we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him . . . so you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.’ With those words, St Paul sets out what you might call the Easter agenda, the bracing regime which all newly baptised and/or confirmed Christians have to face up to. This isn’t, to put it mildly, how people normally think about how to behave; so it’s probably worth going straight for the heart of it. Getting up early on Easter morning is itself bracing, exciting and unexpected, and we might as well carry on in the way we’ve begun. Actually, carrying on what we’ve begun is one good way of describing what living the Christian life is all about. It’s an image Paul uses elsewhere: God has started something off in you, in your hearts and minds and lives, and God is going to carry it on until he’s finished the job. Be prepared for some surprises, and some challenges, as God does that! You’ve been baptised and confirmed into the death and resurrection of Jesus, and the power of the Spirit – so expect those events and that reality to shape your life from now on! But, equally, it’s important to see it from the other end of the telescope, to see your life now from the perspective of the end, the goal. This is a trick management consultants sometimes employ, to get executives to imagine what it’s going to be like when the firm has developed in new ways, how the product will...
Daily Prayers for Holy Week [EDITOR'S NOTE: These prayers are taken from the contemporary wording of the Book of Common Prayer. The U.S. online version can be found HERE.] Monday in Holy Week Almighty God, whose dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other that the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Tuesday in Holy Week O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Wednesday in Holy Week Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be whipped and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Maundy Thursday Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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