Monday, May 7, 2007

Father Sam on the Old Testament Heart

One of the joys of the blogosphere is that you get to read from wonderful priests all over the world. One of my favorites is Father Sam at Elizaphanian, who is a priest on Mersea Island in Essex, United Kingdom. He writes about a lot of interesting topics--ranging from theology, the current troubles in the Anglican Communion and the problem of Peak Oil. He also posts lots of great photographs.

He has a very beautiful post today that is built around a song about a father and a son. It is really hard to describe, and calls for a close read, but it is well worth reading. Here is a sample:

At my father's funeral I preached the resurrection. I was profoundly grateful that I had had a conversation with him not long before when he had explicitly avowed his belief, and that he found my rather academic explorations rather beside the point. I said this: "when we are faced with the harsher realities of life, and we are thrown back from the everyday, the Christian faith, the faith which Bruce shared, comes with a clear message, a message of hope. For Christianity was born when Jesus rose again from the dead, and the shockwaves from that event are still rolling around our world. Many people, perhaps most people today, question this Christian belief in the resurrection. Bruce didn’t question it – he told me so himself. Bruce had a simple and living faith, which worked through him and animated all that he did. He lived a Christian life; he didn’t talk about it much, he just did it. And at the heart of the Christian message is a testimony that death does not have the last word."

My memory of giving this sermon is exceptionally clear. I felt totally exposed; my will was utterly present; and it was right. It was as if this was the place where I received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, here is where God affirmed me as a priest.

"I came that you might have life, life in all its fullness."

Read it all.

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