Block Print by Mike Newman
Luncheon provided in April by the Royal Caterers,. See the March, 2012 article on them.
Daily meditations in words and music.
Read the Bible in a year or a part of it:
Prayer requests - Add a name to the prayer list here.
Saints of the Week, April 20 -April 27
|Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1109|
|[John Muir, Naturalist and Writer, 1914, and Hudson Stuck, Priest and
|[George, Soldier and Martyr, c. 304]; also [Toyohiko Kagawa, Prophetic Witness in Japan, 1960]|
|Saint Mark the Evangelist|
|[Robert Hunt, Priest and First Chaplain at Jamestown, 1607]|
|[Christina Rossetti, Poet, 1894]|
Best of Holy Week and Easter, 2014 (full size gallery)
April 27 - 9:00am, Holy Eucharist, Rite I
April 27 - 11:00am, Morning Prayer, Rite II
Holy Week and Easter retrospective April 13-20
Links to what went on here last week for each service, below. The full Holy week page is here with all the Holy Week related scriptures and services.
From Palm Sunday to Easter, 2014 we held 5 services with 203 in attendance, compared to 166 in 2013. We also participated in the Port Royal Sunrise service on Sunday morning. Yes, we did walk with Jesus in his suffering and hardships and then sharing and proclaiming the resurrection.
- Palm Sunday, April 13, 2014
- Tenebrae, April 16, 2014
- Maundy Thursday, April 17, 2014
- Good Friday, April 18, 2014
- Sunrise Service, April 19, 2014
- Easter Sunday April 20, 2014
We are in Eastertide until Pentecost, June 8
Eastertide is the period of fifty days, seven Sundays from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. Easter is not a day but a season and it is one to examine the Resurrection, more broadly and deeply. There are a number of questions.
Is Resurrection just about death has been swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54-56) ? Is Resurrection of Jesus is a precursor to your own resurrection (1 Corinthians 15) ? Does it say something about our own ability to expect to see Jesus (Luke 24) ? How does the new Christian community begin to function making Christ the central part of daily life ? (Acts 2)
Jesus physically appears in Easter 2 and 3 making the Resurection tangible. The shepherding part of his ministry is explored in Easter 4. From Easter 5-7, Jesus must prepare the disciples for his departure. He is going to leave them. Jesus prepares his disciples for continuing his ministry without his physical presence. Themes explored include the holy spirit, the Prayer of Jesus and God's glory through His Son and the church.
Christ ascends on the 40th day with his disciples watching (Thursday, May 29th). The weekdays after the Ascension until the Saturday before Pentecost inclusive are a preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit.This fifty days comes to an end on Pentecost Sunday, which commemorates the giving of the Holy Spirit to the apostles, the beginnings of the Church and its mission to all peoples and nation. Note that the Old Testament lessons are replaced by selections from the Book of Acts, recognizing the important of the growth of the church.
Lectionary, April 27, Easter 2
I.Theme - "Peace Be With You"
"Incredulity of Thomas" - Duccio, di Buoninsegna (1308-1311)
The lectionary readings are here or individually:
Jesus came back from the realm of the dead after only three days. He left the tomb behind, empty. The Apostles are still in their tomb, their emotional tomb, behind the locked doors of the house, after eight days. Their is fear of the Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus and thus have no peace. Would they come after them? (Jn 15:18, 19). Would be accused of having stolen his body in some resurrection scam? The reality of Jesus execution has just hit them. Jesus comes back and shows them his wounds. The fear appears real!
Jesus visits them and twice says “Peace be with you.” Then he says it a third time a week later. Eventually they do unlock the doors and know that they are sent. There is the Gospel story this week of the Apostle Thomas ("Doubting Thomas") who wanted physical proof of Christ's wounds before he would believe.
Alyce McKenzie writes that "peace be with you" was not just written in the New Testament by quoting the Psalms. "Peace is God's gift of inner serenity to those who place their trust in God (Ps 4:8; Is 26:3, 12). Peace is both the goal (Ps 34:14) and the reward of righteousness (Is 32:17). Its presence will be a sign of God's reign (Ps 85:10). Peace results when one loves and follows God's law (Ps 119:165."
"This isn't the first time Jesus has uttered this greeting. "Peace be with you," is the fulfillment of a promise Jesus made to his disciples in chapter 14 of John's Gospel (Jn 14:18-28). The disciples were afraid that they would be "orphaned" (14:18). Jesus assured them that the Father, in his name, would send the Holy Spirit to both "teach and remind" them of Jesus' message (14:26). He then promises them peace."
Their subsequent lives were not free of conflict, not even from conflict among themselves. He doesn't give them a traditional peace -It is rather an inner calm in the midst of strife. Peace is calmly living on the edge, betwixt and between the ups and downs of life with Jesus walking by our side. As Alyce McKenzie writes "It is a statement of fact, of present reality." The emphasis is that Jesus lives in all of us with the resurrection in our difficult circumstances.
Jesus called us not for a quiet, leisurely life, but for an active mission that faces challenges, problems, and various trials. He gives us first of all His Peace to carry out the mission. A true peace over and against fear, and doubt. It is a mission to preach the good news of the Kingdom
He gives us His strength, His power, the Holy Spirit. The mission can be accomplished only through His Spirit. Jesus knew very well Thomas will not be able to fulfil the calling on his own, so He came back for him, to empower him also as He empowered the other disciples. So what is our mission ?
Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop writes this mission - forgiveness. "The resurrection was an experience of forgiveness. The disciples had all abandoned Jesus, becoming complicit with his murderers. The fact that the resurrection was happening to them was an experience of forgiveness for them. " So he gives them another chance to them extend forgiveness into the world. Jesus demonstrated it by calling Saul (Paul) even though he was guilty of killing some of his followers.
Who was Thomas ?
Thomas' name has come down to us as "Doubting Thomas. " He's been labeled a "doubter" for his inability to understand Christ's resurrection from the dead following his crucifixion. It's not so much that he doubted the resurrection but that he needed a personal encounter with Jesus to make the resurrection real. His request that he see the wounds on Jesus's hand left by the nails before he would actually believe that he was speaking to the risen Christ, has provided us with the phrase "Doubting Thomas." That makes it appear to doubt is not a part of faith which it is.
National Geographic - "Thomas's moment of incredulity has proved a two-edged sword in the history of Christian thought. On the one hand, some theologians are quick to point out that his doubt is only natural, echoing the uncertainty, if not the deep skepticism, felt by millions in regard to metaphysical matters. How can we know? That Thomas challenged the risen Christ, probed the wounds, and then believed, some say, lends deeper significance to his subsequent faith. On the other hand, his crisis of doubt, shared by none of the other Apostles, is seen by many as a spiritual failure, as a need to know something literally that one simply cannot know. In the Gospel of John, 20:29, Christ himself chastises Thomas, saying, "Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Loyalty was closer to his character. As one of the disciples, when Jesus announced His intention of going to the Jerusalem area, brushing aside the protests of His disciples that His life was in danger there, at which Thomas said to the others: "Let us also go, that we may die with him." (John 11:7,8,16) If Thomas was pessimistic, he was also sturdily loyal and determined. He wanted to get it right
Before the Doubting Thomas episode, he was honest and sincere. At the Last Supper, Jesus said: "I go to prepare a place for you.... And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know." Thomas replied: "Lord, we know not whither thou goest, and how can we know the way?" To this Jesus answered: "I am the way, the truth and the life." (John 14:1-6)
Thomas is mentioned again (John 21) as one of the seven disciples who were fishing on the Sea of Galilee (Sea of Tiberias) when the Risen Lord appeared to them. Aside from this he appears in the New Testament only as a name on lists of the Apostles. A couple of centuries later a story was circulating in the Mediterranean world that he had gone to preach in India; and there is a Christian community in India (the Kerala district) that claims descent from Christians converted by the the preaching of Thomas.
Following Christ's ascensio, the apostles divided the world for missionary purposes. Thomas was assigned to travel to India to spread Christianity. He objected to this group decision. He said he wasn'tt healthy enough to travel. But he couldn't possibly be successful there, he told the others, contending that a Hebrew couldn't possibly teach the Indians. It's even said that Christ appeared to him in a vision encouraging him to travel to India. Thomas remained unmoved by this revelation as well.
A merchant eventually sold Thomas into slavery in India. It was then, when he was freed from bondage that this saint began to form Christian parishes and building churches. It's not surprising that to this day, St. Thomas is especially venerated as The Apostle in India. According to legend, Thomas built a total of seven churches in India, as well as being martyred during a prayer session with a spear near Madras around the year 72 C.E.
He is often pictured holding a spear. Paintings of martyrs often show them holding or accompanied by the instruments with which they were put to death.
A recently discovered work called the Gospel of Thomas is a collection of sayings attributed to Jesus,
The Legacy of Thomas in India
The National Geographic -"He traveled farther than even the indefatigable Paul, whose journeys encompassed much of the Mediterranean. Of all the Apostles, Thomas represents most profoundly the missionary zeal associated with the rise of Christianity—the drive to travel to the ends of the known world to preach a new creed."
"Thomas is said to have raised the first cross in India and performed one of his earliest miracles: When he encountered a group of Brahmans throwing water into the air as part of a ritual, he asked why the water fell back to Earth if it was pleasing to their deity. My God, Thomas said, would accept such an offering. He then flung a great spray into the air, and the droplets hung there in the form of glistening white blossoms. Most onlookers converted on the spot; the rest fled."
"St. Thomas still stands as the direct link between his converts in Kerala and the founding Christian story on the shores of the Mediterranean, clear across the known world of the first century. Unlike later Christian groups in Asia who were converted by missionaries, Thomas Christians believe their church was founded by one of Christ's closest followers, and this is central to their spiritual identity. "They are an apostolic church," Stewart said, "and that's the ultimate seal of approval for a Christian group."
"The community was historically united in leadership and liturgy, but since the 17th century have been split into several different church denominations and traditions.
"Historically the Saint Thomas Christian community was part of the Church of the East, centred in Persia.They are a distinct community, both in terms of culture and religion. Though their liturgy and theology remained that of East-Syrian Christians of Persia, their life-style customs and traditions were basically Indian.
"In the 16th century the overtures of the Portuguese padroado to bring the Saint Thomas Christians into the Catholic Church led to the first of several rifts in the community and the establishment of Syrian Catholic and Malankara Church factions. Since that time further splits have occurred, and the Saint Thomas Christians are now divided into several different Eastern Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, and independent bodies, each with their own liturgies and traditions."