Faith News

A message from St George parish church


Joan Conway….An Easter commentary and Bible exercise

Introduction

Easter Day is the first day of a season of joyful reflection on the resurrection of Jesus.  The victory of Easter is the precursor of the final victory and redemption.
This season, which includes Ascension Day, ends at Pentecost, the fiftieth day after Easter.

The Easter Anthems

Christ our passover has been sacrificed for us:
so let us celebrate the feast,
not with the old leaven of corruption and wickedness:
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.  1 Corinthians 5.7b, 8

Christ once raised from the dead dies no more:
death has no more dominion over him.
In dying he died to sin once for all:
in living he lives to God.
See yourselves therefore as dead to sin:
and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord.   Romans 6.9–11

Christ has been raised from the dead:
the first fruits of those who sleep.
For as by man came death:
by man has come also the resurrection of the dead;
for as in Adam all die:
even so in Christ shall all be made alive.  1 Corinthians 15.20–22

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

A song of faith and hope

Therefore, since we are justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand;
and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.
And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings,
knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
and hope does not disappoint us,
because God’s love has been poured into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

But God proves his love for us in that
while we still were sinners Christ died for us.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels,
nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.         Romans 5. 1, 3, 5, 8; 8. 38, 39

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The I AM sayings in John’s Gospel

The phrase “I am …” appears in the Gospel of John many times.
It is formed of two Greek words [ἐγώ εἰμι] that seem to mean the same thing:
ego – I am; eimi – I exist.

So why does Jesus use this structure used?

In the Septuagint [Greek version of the Old Testament] it appears in Isaiah: 43. 10(11), 25.
God declares that God is the Lord and God forgives sins.
In Exodus (3.14), when Moses tells God that he needs a name to tell the people who is sending Moses with instructions for escaping from Egypt, God responds with the phrase translated as ἐγώ εἰμι in the Septuagint, as “I AM WHO I AM” in the NRSV translation, and is written אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֶֽהְיֶ֑ה in the Hebrew text.

There has been much discussion over the translation of this text especially with regard to the tense of the phrase.

For us, in John’s Gospel we can consider whether we think that Jesus’ use of the phrase is an assertion of his identity, his self-understanding, and then we can look at the various ways in which he connects with us through the use of pictures such as Good Shepherd, Way, Life, True Bread …

I AM the Good Shepherd – John 10. 11 – 18

There are links with the Hebrew Scriptures – Ezekiel 34:1-41; Genesis 48:15; 49:24; Ps 23:1-4; 80:1; 100:3-4; Micah 7:14

This conversation occurs after Jesus has described himself as the door.

10:11 –”I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
10:14 –”I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me,”

Jesus explains that the Good shepherd never abandons his sheep: they can rely on him.
We are his sheep and he knows each of us by name.
Jesus looks to the time when all the sheep from every flock will hear his voice, come through the door, become part of his flock, and be saved.

The Good Shepherd is willing to give his life to keep his sheep safe.

As we try to follow Jesus’ example we remember and give thanks for all those who are making sacrifices for us all and continue to work to keep us safe.

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Ascension Day – 21 May 2020

A song of praise for Ascension Day

You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honour and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.
You are worthy, O Lamb,
for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God
saints from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God,
and they will reign with you on earth.
To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might
forever and ever! Amen.                                                   Revelation 4. 11; 5. 9b – 10, 13

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Bible exercise

How did they know and what happened next?     Look up the passages and fill in the gaps

Luke 24. 44 – 53

Jesus opened their minds …

You are …

They returned to …

They were continually in the Temple …