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Sunday 25th June 2017 11:00
Sung Eucharist for the Second Sunday after Trinity with parallel Children's Ministry and followed by 'Picnic in the Park'
Celebrant and Preacher: Rev'd Nathanial

Sunday 2nd July 2017 11:00
Sung Eucharist for the Third Sunday after Trinity followed by Coffee Hour
Celebrant and Preacher: Rev'd Nathanial

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27th December 2015 – Feast of St. John the Evangelist – Jack Noonan

There is no recording available but the full text is below

Focus Scripture: John 1: 1-14

For the past few weeks now, here in church, we have listened many times to readings from the Old Testament prophetically foreshadowing what the New Testament would later manifest in time and space.

We saw that the New Testament message is in the Old Testament concealed and that in the New Testament the Old Testament is in is revealed.

We have journeyed much to Christmas and are destined to journey much further before we return to the last Sunday in December this time next year. By then to one degree or another we will have changed again.

Journeys

In the company of the Holy Spirit we have just retraced

The Journey Part One: from Eden to Bethlehem. From Paradise Lost to the birthing of its restoration in Bethlehem.

In the New Year we will depart on The Journey Part Two ; from Bethlehem through Calvary to Resurrection, Pentecost and beyond.

There is a The Journey Part Three ; This journey is personal. It is a type of diary, a docu-drama, recording our interaction and collaboration with the of the Holy Spirit in our spiritual journey into Christ. It is the story of our co-labouring with God’s will for us as He changes us from ‘glory into glory’.

This time of year we formally celebrate the birth of God’s Son, Jesus/Yeshua;

‘the Word made flesh’………..through whom ‘all things were made…In Him (is) light; and the life (is) the light of humankind’.

Jesus had a mighty task … not just to regain Paradise Lost but also to initiate the penultimate redemptive actions necessary to rescue, redeem, restore, and reconcile

a beleaguered cosmos……. a usurped world….. and a fallen humanity with its Thrice Holy Creator, our Father-God.

Every Christmas we solemnly and joyfully commemorate the birth of our Divine Warrior-King, Redeemer and Saviour Jesus the Messiah.

For this Child will grow; into Divine Wisdom, Strength, Courage, Hope, Compassion and Love.

He will, when His hour has comes, face=down, war against and defeat the deep darkness and spite of Satan,the ruler/the prince of this world.

In faith, patience and humility Jesus will bear and carry the weight of our festering malignancies to the cross and in a gathering cosmic gloom, die for us.

Such is the immeasurable value and love our Father God places on us that while we were yet sinners He sent His only Son died for us.

In the darkness of Calvary, the usurper Satan would think he was victorious in quenching the Divine Life of the Divine Word.

But Lord Jesus, Christus Victor, rose from Death,‘with healing in his wings’. ,mysteriously bringing us… with Him …. in Him and seating us, in spirit, in ‘the heavenly places.’

For ‘the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness could not overcome it…… comprehended it not’.

Earlier in Newman’s hymn we sang of our redemption :

O loving wisdom of our God!

when all was sin and shame ,

a second Adam to the fight

and to the rescue came.

Jesus is our second Adam. Our Reclaimer.

‘For as in(our first) Adam all died , even so in Christ (our second Adam) shall all be made alive.’

For Mary’s Child, Yeshua, is no one less than :

God’s presence and His very Self,

And essence all-divine.’

The Cosmic, Irradiating Jesus, the very image of God … entered time and space.

‘Veiled in flesh the Godhead see/ Hail incarnate Deity,…Jesus our Emmanuel”

So that each of us on encountering Him can receive the power to be reborn, regenerated, fathered and nurtured n by the very Spirit of God Himself…

As John records: born, not of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God.’

At Christmastide we commemorate the historic dawning/beginning of THE New Day …a Day of True and Tangible Hope…. a Day of the Empowerment of Potential, for: ‘…to as many as received Him,to them gave He power to become the sons( Children) of God, even to them that believe on His name.

God and sinner reconciled. Truth has its definite article…destroying the concept of being a mere concept, a relative truth. For Truth is now embodied in the human being Jesus of Nazareth. Simultaneously flesh and blood beyond mere flesh and blood.

‘The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.’

For now when we humans seek to know what God is really like…we look to Jesus… in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwells. We move into Jesus. We believe into Jesus, our perfect theology and love.

Jesus whose Holy Spirit relentlessly draws us into relationship, into loving intimacy, into forgiveness, with God our Father. For our Victorious King and Champion made a spectacle of a vanquished,renegade Satan and his demons of darkness…..Death no longer has dominion…death is swallowed up in victory.

Our gospel reading majestically echoes the opening line of Genesis…the Book of Beginnings. It is here we first encounter the uttering of the Irresistible Creative Word of God:

‘’ 1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep….And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.’’

God forever says to deep voids in us: ”Let there be light’.

Now generations later John gives the antiphonal response to Genesis… Seed now bears fruit…”Veiled in flesh the Godhead see.”

What was promised is accomplished……..demonstrating that we have a promise-keeping God. The prism of the Word shifts and new dimensions shine, a the kingdom of new creation into being.

The Holy Spirit through John records:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…all things were made by Him.”

 The Book of Genesis…a book of seeded intentions and the Book of John…signs, mystery and accomplishments ..two beginnings …one end…one goal…the glory of God’s Faithfulness, Compassion and Love…. in seeking out to redeem and restore a self righteous, self willed, stiff necked humanity.

John’s prologue and gospel are rich in metaphor and where metaphor reigns… mystery resides. For metaphors can be masquerades to conceal underlying mysteries that we have yet to resolve.

Light and Darkness,

Death and Life

Sight and Blindness

Openness and Closeness

Hearing and Deafness

So if ‘today you hear His voice harden not your hearts..’.

John introduces into us the power and reality of ‘The Manifested/Manifesting Word’.

He does not say in the beginning was the ‘Thought…or in the beginning was the ‘Deed’ or in the beginning was the ‘Feeling’. Such terms would not unambiguously communicate the core of his message.

Divine inspiration breathes:‘ In the beginning was the Word…’.

  In calling Jesus “the Eternal Word” John’s is emphasizing that the very existence of Jesus, the Son of God, is for the sake of communication..reaching out..relating…. ….relationship.

First, and foremost, the Jesus/Word exists, and has always existed, from all eternity for the sake of communication with the Father.

Secondly,and infinitely important for us, this infant Son of God became divine communication to us.

Calling Jesus “the Word” implies that He is “God-Expressing-Himself…..”

to a misaligned cosmos , a flawed humanity and

an ailing creation.

In the Messiah’s very name God expresses Himself….His nature ,and His intentions….Yeshua means Saviour.

And He rescues all those who would turn to Him in faith.

Faith, in the finished work of Jesus, releases God’s tremendous covenantal promise to us. The Mary-Child will save to the uttermost those who come to Him.

This truth is wonderfully liberating. Liberating us from fear of failure, the tyranny of effort and the angst of eternal loss.

Through His Spirit, He still knocks is on the door of our heart. He waits for us to open that door, so He can sup with us…. thus translating us from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light and Life eternal.

Remember…impenetrable, clinging darkness can never quench, suffocate or overcome the light and love of God’s Holy Spirit irradiating in our spirit, renewing our minds, transforming our hearts, and healing our bodies .

To conclude, today is the Feast Day of St John, my patron and the patron saint of love, loyalty, friendship and authors.

John,the disciple Jesus loved, and the only apostle who lived into his 90’s dying a natural death.

The ancient symbol ascribed to him is the Eagle; for John ,in the Spirit, soared into the heavenlies.

His writings are God breathed and written that ‘we might believe into Jesus and live.

Jesus, Abundant Life, Jesus, Eternal Light,

Jesus,Unconditional Love who saves to the uttermost.

This Christmas season,in the presence of the Holy Spirit, go read and receive this gospel with the eyes and ears of faith. Be blessed.

Our time here is short and what is left to us runs away quickly….so…let us redeem the time, for Jesus will not tarry forever.

Let us say ‘Yes’, to God’s call on our lives and to the Mighty Hope awaiting us in this Christ Child, Jesus.

Now unto him that is able to keep you(us) from falling, and to present you(us) faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. ( Come Lord Jesus, come) Amen.