Saturday, 30 March 2013

Holy Week 2013 Day 6

Looking back from this Saturday on to a full week...

Palm Sunday - the two processions of Pilate and Jesus into Jerusalem. Also, a thought provoking afternoon about contemporary Scotland and worship in the Baptist Church.  Questions arising about truth - public and personal, about health, well being and powers that dominate our lives.

Monday - the surprisingly transgressive turns that faith and devotion may sometimes take and indeed demand of us. Time to let down our hair?

Tuesday - we are in the business of dying and rising, real death and then that which is not just 'coming back to life' but is the breaking in of something radically transforming and almost unsayable.

Wednesday - The wound that heals. Judas, Satan and the strange glory of the victim into whose true power the plotters fall. Ok, it sounds fit for 'Pseuds Corner' - but the best way to say it is - 'O Felix Culpa'. 

Thursday - feet washed, a last meal, handing over, denial, shock driven sleep and the Powers doing their worst.

Friday - nourishing and provocative moments of vigil snatched in Kelvinside Hillhead Parish Church and St Mary's Cathedral, where Kelvin Holdsworth observed contra Sartre that Hell is not always other people. Sometimes like Simon of Cyrene they help us carry our burden. In the evening - Partick Trinity Church and the abiding question - 'Why Did Jesus Die?'

Today - Saturday. Sabbath. Waiting.  Tomorrow?

Kelvingrove Park Sunday 8 am
Lansdowne Parish Church 11 am
Wellington Church 7pm

Friday, 29 March 2013

Holy Week 2013 Day 5

Yesterday: -
Oakgrove Primary School Assemble, St Georges Tron C of S lunchtime service, worship in Cumbrae House and preparation throughout for Easter Day services. In the evening Maundy Thursday Communion at Kelvinside Hillhead. I am againstruck by the persistence of the gospel witness to Jesus final week... historical (re)constructions, atonement theories, theologies, explanations and opinions abound. But what is there really to say? Especially today...

For me, the verse that does not leave unsaid what we are grasping at is Abelard's:

This night the traitor, wolf within the sheepfold,
betrays himself into his victim's will;
the Lamb of God for sacrifice preparing,
sin brings about the cure for sin's own ill.

Today across the Parish Grouping:
Family worship for God Friday - from 10.30 am at Hillhead Baptist Church
Vigil at Kelvinside Hillhead Parish Church - from  Noon  until 3pm
Tonight - Partick Trinity Parish Church - 7pm

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Holy Week 2013 Day 4

After doing my best with John's account of Judas, Jesus and all that, last night, I was at Oakgrove Primary School assembly this morning. Almost out of nothing the young people of the school, via Easter eggs and daffodils retold in far more detail than I expected them to, the story of the last week of Jesus's earthly life.  Inter alia, we touched on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Day. By question and answer we together remembered and retold the story, recalling that Jesus rode a donkey as a peacemaker, washed his disciples' feet, and shared a last meal with them.  They told me about Pilate and the crowd, the cross and about Mary in the garden. And how very lively it all was. Hmmm.

I dropped in to the service in St Georges Tron Church of Scotland at 1.15pm. We were reminded of Jesus the servant. Good wishes to all there as they seek to rebuild and to serve in the heart of the city.

Finally, I am just back from a fine time at Cumbrae House as we had a little Easter service with residents, staff and some redoubtable support from Lansdowne people.  The children of Oakgrove inspired the content of this with their lively remembering and retelling of the Easter story. It is, as the hymn says, 'Mercy all'.

Kelvinside Hillhead Parish Church 7pm Tonight

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Holy Week 2013 Day 3

Just setting off to Wellington Church to take my turn at leading people in worship as we follow the story of the last week of the life of Jesus on earth - as told by John's Gospel.


What a strange story it is! And I,  as the song says, am a believer. Hmmm ...
What happens in a culture when metaphors die?
Can they still speak to us?
Do we seek or invent new ones?
Do they (re)appear of their own volition?
Do we wrestle, work and pray for their resurrection? Hmmm ...

'Unless a metaphor die, ....' Hmmm ...again.

Tonight, the small matter of Judas Iscariot.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Holy Week 2013 Day 2

It was a cold night and a fair few braved the elements to go to Monday night's service at Kelvin Stevenson Memorial Church.

Gordon Kirkwood and Penny Stuart led us contemplatively as we engaged afresh with the story (in John's Gospel) of Mary anointing the feet of Jesus. Transgressive, extravagant... what are the new things asked of us now?

Oh, and KSM was strangely warm inside - Yay!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Life & Work Magazine Online

Life & Work Magazine goes online today... click the link to have  a  peek.

Holy Week 2013 Day 1

Well, that was Palm Sunday 2013 that was. In the morning at Lansdowne, I drew upon Crossan and Borg's 'The Last Week' for thoughts on the two processions entering Jerusalem. The Imperial Roman procession of Pilate and the Kingdom of God counter-procession of Jesus. In the afternoon, I went to the 'New Road' event organised by West End ACTS. Though provoking. We learned of Scotland's health problems, the impact of consumerism, materialism and of celebrity culture upon us, and of various local initiatives of inspirational communities around Scotland.

One question that arose for  me concerns the role of the 'Church'.  On the very day when the Gospel story was one of Jesus staking a claim to public truth, we heard a challenge to the 'Church' to give a lead. To speak up for alternative values.  When we say 'church' do we mean church national, local, leaders, committees, laity? I am struck too, that this comes at the very time when the very place of faith in the public sphere at all,  is so much contested. Church(es), faith and religion seem to feature in public when there is scandal, conflict or when the 'God question' is debated.

In the evening, there was a remarkable service in Hillhead Baptist Church which again reminded us of Palm Sunday, and reading John 11 and 12 focussed our minds on what lies ahead. Are the two processions described by Borg and Crossan on the move today? If so when, how and where? Do we really face a choice of which procession we belong to?  Is this apposite to the choices to be made in today's secular Scotland?

Kelvin Stevenson Memorial Church tonight - 7pm.