|Pen and Ink Reflections||
Are homilies necessary in Holy Week? I wonder. Even more than at other times, our liturgical patterns are shaped so much by the Passion narrative as a whole that interrupting it with other words can seem somewhat intrusive. For the main thing is to enter into the narrative and drama of the Holy Week and Easter mysteries. We do not have to understand everything, or even say or do anything. We are simply invited into the narrative to become part of it and to allow the drama to form the core of our lives. For our task in the whole of our Christian lives is to become more like Christ, in Christ’s life, death and resurrection: to be Christ-formed, cross-formed, resurrection-formed. So it is not a doctrine of the cross we seek to know today. It is its claim and shape in our own lives. Maybe however, just a few words can help us on that journey?...
As we gather today at the foot of the cross I would like to invite you to consider the holding and the beholding that happens in the story we have just heard...
Goodness is stronger than evil; Love is stronger than hate;
Light is stronger than darkness; Life is stronger than death.
These are Archbishop Tutu's words, and they sum up the good news that Christians bring to the world in remembering Good Friday and celebrating Easter. They celebrate Christ's victory over death, and thus the possibility of resurrection for us and all creation. There is no darkness so deep, no grief so unbearable, no injustice so challenging that Christ cannot transform it.
Sometimes we forget that God is for us and not against us. When we are in trouble, and sometimes even when things are going well, we can turn our attention away from God. Easter is a time to turn back and re-connect.
On Easter Day the great Easter candle is lit and carried into churches with great ceremony. It stands as a reminder of the truth that God's love is stronger than death and anything we fear. So whatever pain or sorrow is happening in your life, remember Christ bears that hurt with you, and His love overcomes our fear, ultimately wiping our tears from our eyes.
for Good Friday 2014, by Jonathan Inkpin
Throughout the Christian centuries, artists have created many moving images of the Crucifixion. One of the most powerful recent examples is found in the work of the Scottish artist David Mach. I first came across this two years ago in the wonderful Galway Arts Festival in Ireland. It was part of an exhibition entitled Precious Light, which was created as part of the celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible. This exhibition included a whole series of large and hugely dramatic collages based on many of the great stories of the Bible, each transposed to one of the great cities of our world. The centrepiece however was ‘Golgotha’: a massively arresting larger-than-life sculpture of the Crucifixion, made from steel girders and re-shaped coat hangers. By its sheer size, its searing suffering and sharp sensation, it challenges us and calls forth response: what do we make of Crucifixion? It is the challenge and call of Good Friday...
sermons and reflections from Penny Jones & Jo Inkpin,