Easter Sunday services tomorrow

There will be Communion services at 7am and 10am, Ottery St Mary Parish Church.  A full list of services over the Easter period can be collected from the back of the Church building.  There will not be a separate 11.15am service, we’ll be joining in the Big Celebration at 10am.

Brad Jersak: ‘Stricken by God’

I love this for a Good Friday revelation.  Brad Jersak writes that for years, he thought Jesus was ‘stricken by God’.  But that very mistake was prophesied in Isaiah 53:4-5, when the prophet said:

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.

The punishment and affliction, the piercing and the crushing were not at the hands of the Father.  We did that – people, zealous religious people.

Bradley Jersak, A More Christlike God

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Krish Kandiah: The cross is bigger than you think

Author Dr Krish Kandiah explains how Jesus’ words from the cross reveal God’s hospitality towards us, in this article from Premier Christianity magazine.

It’s the strangest design for an intergalactic time travelling craft. Disguising the Tardis as a 1963 London Police telephone box may have been a great camouflage strategy for a tiny slither of time in British history, but its not so useful in 21st Century London, let alone Pompeii before Vesuvius erupts in AD 79 or the Dalek home world of Skaro in the year 3000. Nevertheless, due to a malfunction in its ‘chameleon circuitry’, the Doctor’s Tardis is stuck in the form of an antiquated oddity. Although for the many Dr Who fans around the world, we don’t even notice how strange it looks anymore.

Like the Tardis, the cross of Christ is both strange and normal. In every Western city the cross has become part of the architectural furniture.

Crosses adorn our ambulances, our buildings and even our bodies – on tattoos, fashion items and accessories. But when we stop to reflect, it is very odd that this most cruel of ancient Roman torture and execution methods has become the ubiquitous symbol of Christianity.

Continue reading “Krish Kandiah: The cross is bigger than you think”

Christ ’emptying himself’: a neglected doctrine

The Bible contains many different metaphors that explain what Jesus achieved on the cross. But in this Premier Christianity magazine article David Instone-Brewer says this doctrine is special and needs reclaiming.

If you want to bring a misty-eyed contemplative smile to a Christian from the Orthodox Church, mention the theology of kenosis – Christ “emptying” himself. The doctrine is found in Philippians 2:6-11 where Paul writes that Jesus “emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant” (ESV).

This is a source of wonder and worship to believers from this tradition because they regard it as not only the way of salvation but also a guide to the Christian life. It has become the centre and focus of their Christian faith, while the rest of us have more or less ignored it.

Continue reading “Christ ’emptying himself’: a neglected doctrine”

The overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

Songwriters: Caleb Culver / Cory Asbury / Ran Jackson
Reckless Love lyrics © Bethel Music Publishing