Tomorrow: Remembrance Sunday

Tomorrow is Remembrance Sunday – the main morning service starts at 10.30am and includes a minute’s silence at 11am. This year the procession before the service will start from the Land of Canaan, leaving at 9.45am.

No Explore this time, that’ll be back next Sunday with Steve, Colin, The Essential Question, Communion and a Bring and Share Lunch.

Matt Redman: The Same Jesus

A new song from Matt Redman. I love the bridge:

He’s the First and the Last
The Beginning and End
At the sound of His cry
All the world came alive
And He formed us from dust
Put His breath in our lungs
We were made for His love
But we ran from the light
But He wouldn’t give up
On His daughter and sons
So took up the cross
And He laid down His life
Then He did what He said
When He rose from the dead
And He’s coming back again

The Same Jesus, written By: Matt Redman, Jacob Sooter and Josh Silverberg.

Hannah Dunnett: Seek the Lord

 

This painting is based around the theme of seeking after God –
“Seek The Lord while He may be found, call on Him while He is near.”

The original is in watercolour.

This art print is available as an A3 poster.   Framing Options: oak effectsolid oak or painted white wooden frame.  You can purchase copies here.



Thomas Merton: Our job is to love others

Thomas Merton

“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.  That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business.  What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbours worthy.”

― Thomas Merton

 

Richard Rohr: The Myth of Redemptive Violence

Fr. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest from New Mexico, writes:

Leviticus 16 describes the ingenious ritual from which our word “scapegoating” originated. On the Day of Atonement, a priest laid hands on an “escaping” goat, placing all the sins of the Jewish people from the previous year onto the animal. Then the goat was beaten with reeds and thorns and driven out into the desert. And the people went home rejoicing, just as European Christians did after burning a supposed heretic at the stake, or white Americans did after the lynching of black men. Whenever the “sinner” is excluded, our ego is delighted and feels relieved and safe. It sort of works, but only for a while. Usually the illusion only deepens and becomes catatonic, blind, and repetitive—because of course, scapegoating did not really work to eliminate the evil in the first place.

Jesus became the scapegoat to reveal the universal lie of scapegoating.

Note that John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin [singular] of the world” (John 1:29). It seems “the sin of the world” is ignorant hatred, fear, and legitimated violence.

The Gospel is a highly subversive document. It painstakingly illustrates how the systems of both church and state (Caiaphas and Pilate) conspired to condemn Jesus. Throughout most of history, church and state have both sought plausible scapegoats to carry their own shame and guilt.

Jesus became the sinned-against one to reveal the hidden nature of scapegoating and so that we would see how wrong people in authority can be—even religious important people (see John 16:8-11 and Romans 8:3).

The scapegoat mechanism largely operates in the unconscious; people do not know what they are doing. Scapegoaters do not know they are scapegoating, but they think they are doing a “holy duty for God” (John 16:2). You see why inner work, shadow work, and honest self-knowledge are all essential to any healthy religion.

In worshiping Jesus as the scapegoat, Christians should have learned to stop scapegoating. We too could be utterly wrong about choosing victims, just as high priest and king, Jerusalem and Rome—the highest levels of authority—were utterly wrong about Jesus. Power itself is not a good guide, yet for many, if not most people, authority soothes their anxiety and relieves their own responsibility to form a mature conscience.

Continue reading “Richard Rohr: The Myth of Redemptive Violence”