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The Trinity — The sign of God’s continuing transforming grace

A Christian teacher of my acquaintance says he would judge that belief in the Trinity is the fundamental belief-basis of the Christian Faith. This seems not to be a fashionable thing to say these days. People seem to be saying that when something is difficult to understand or visualise, or when it all seems rather abstract, it really can’t matter that much. And yet, those who do say such things are being inconsistent. Physicists and mathematicians are expected to know how important it is to get the reaction equations right, even when these are entirely invisible and abstract. You wouldn’t want to be anywhere near a nuclear reactor designed by someone who didn’t think these things were important. That is partly why independent scientists find it so hard to get adequate attention paid to their proposals; the scientific community cannot bear to think they haven’t already got everything just about right. ...

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The calling to be fruitful in God’s love

It might seem to be a cliché to say that the first thing we should do after waking up in the morning is to thank God for making it possible for us to wake up. It turns out to be not just a cliché but a sane and sensible thing to do, because the conditions that keep us alive on this planet are extraordinary. The equilibrium of physical factors upon which we depend for safety could change suddenly and our lives could be snuffed out in a trice. In fact, it is a sane and sensible thing to believe that the physical conditions of our existence are held in sufficient balance and that the solar system and the Earth and the galaxies are sustained by divine Providence. ...

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From glimpse to certainty

Both in the world in general and in the Church in particular, Easter is perceived to be a time of joyful celebration. For the world perhaps it’s like a smaller version of Christmas and a few distinctive touches like Easter chocolate eggs. As a child I used to look forward to my Easter egg on the breakfast table on Easter Sunday. In the eastern parts of the Church the egg retains more of its Easter symbolism of the egg or the tomb being cracked open by the new life springing from it, and such eggs are given out as part of the Easter service at church. The general life-bearing fruitfulness of springtime after the deadness of winter perhaps also retains for some a Resurrection symbolism. ...

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The effective passion

In S. John 12: 27 - 28 Jesus says, “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say - ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour.” In fact, Jesus referred several times in the Gospel according to St. John to His “hour”, which up to this point had not yet come. One can imagine the general of an army approaching a decisive battle which could win or lose the entire war. Some ...

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The new creation

Even as the one to whom God gave the Name that is above every name was paying the ultimate price for our redemption, the sun himself, as it were, bending his knee to his Lord, temporarily ceased to provide radiation, and light failed for three hours at noon. So this stupendous sign and others simultaneously, including the renting of the veil of the Temple, declared to the centurion and the assembled company the innocence of this victim. They did not yet know the scope of the victory that the King had won. But already the signs were there in heaven and earth, for those who might see. ...

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The authority of the Government of God

It is recorded in S. John 2:15: “Making a whip of cords, Jesus drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and He poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.” Someone might ask: Is this really the same Jesus that in the Sermon on the Mount in S. Matthew 5:39 taught, “Do not resist one who is evil. If any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also?” The answer, of course, is that it is indeed the same Jesus. If we find it difficult to reconcile Jesus’ actions in the Temple with His Sermon on the Mount teaching, it should be taken as an invitation to us to stand back and give a closer examination to the action in the Temple and to the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount, and the context of each one. ...

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The Lord of time – revealed

The Scriptures, especially when read and expounded in church, are often the recourse we have to keep us in mind that there is a reality that goes beyond the calculations of our own plans. We all know what it is to be held up in our plans by unforeseen events of one kind or another, ranging from some minor sickness to some more significant disaster such as a hurricane. Some plans of ours too may be advanced in a way we had not envisaged by factors over which we have no personal control. A letter or email may arrive which one was not expecting that has the potential to change the course of one’s life. The Scriptures point us to a Providential God working out things according to His timing rather than ours, even working into His good purpose the minor and major hold-ups and disasters that we experience and that discountenance us from time to time. ...

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