St Hilda's Anglican Catholic Church Service Times

You are invited to join us for Anglican Catholic Holy Communion / Mass on:
Every Sunday, Maitland NSW Australia. Venue: St Marys School Chapel in Victoria St. Mass at 11am.
Fr Matthew Kirby for further details.
Check here for any additions or cancelations of services.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Easter Sunday - What it means for us

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together; and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre; and he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie; and the napkin that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the Scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. St John 20:1

"[H]e must rise again"

The Resurrection meant New Life for Christ as Man. He lived again after death, with a body that still bore the scars, but manifested new, glorious properties. He could enter rooms that had the doors shut, for example "And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you." John 20:26, just appearing.

But what about us? 

What does it mean for us? 
The very same. "Christ ... is your life" the Epistle teaches us. While we have to wait for our new bodies till the Day Christ returns, with Judgement and Cosmic Renewal in tow, the new life begins for us here and now spiritually.

However, unlike the divine and sinless Jesus we cannot produce it from within, we cannot manufacture this new life by our own efforts or earn it by our deeds. It must be received freely. It is a gift.

How do we receive it, then? 
Faith in Christ. Accept that He is who he said he was, Lord and Saviour. Acknowledge your sin, and that you need Him to take away your sin and renew you.  Trust the giver of the gift. In that act of trust, you are at the same time receiving the gift.

But then what? 
Life is activity. To be fully alive as a human being, (re-)created in God's image, is to choose and to do. Live the life. Grow the Resurrection Reality within. 
But how?
Living, penitent faith remains the foundation. In other words, faith in Christ is not just a beginning, it is a pathway, the ongoing condition/prerequisite of all progress.

But what else?

What kind and how it is prayed is secondary, just pray. Talk to God. Use the Prayer Books, use your own words.  Whisper, sing hymns, shout if you feel you have to, but pray.

The Word of God. 
It's not just about reading the Bible occasionally. Memorise and meditate. It's better to know small portions of the Bible like the back of your hand than just to have a passing acquaintance with much of it. Memorise some verses. It's better to read them in conversation with God, pausing to let the words sink in and work on us, than to never do anything more than read a chapter for the sake of reading a chapter. Meditate on the word.

The Church

Why do we need the Church? 
It is the Body of Christ, according to Scripture. In other words, we partake of the New Life in Christ's new Body in and through the Church. How does the Church enable this to happen? Sacraments, teaching, fellowship, worship "and they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." Acts 2:42. St John's Gospel teaches us that "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us". And there is a sense in which He is still doing that through the Sacraments. Physical signs and means of spiritual grace. But the Church doesn't just celebrate meaningful, grace-filled ceremonies.
She teaches us from the Word of God and keeps us true to the Truth. And, through interaction with each other, we can and should strengthen one another in the Faith, in the New Life. Finally, the Church draws us into that summit of prayer and praise, the Mass, and allows us to participate in other holy services of worship as well.

(Note how Church helps with prayer and Scripture! We need its guidance, we were never meant to live in isolation as Christians.)
Again, as with prayer, don't worry too much about which ones. Give some thought as to how you can help the Church and the world, if you haven't already done so. Make an effort to do good. And give God the glory.  

And give thanks for his wonderful gift, the Resurrection Reality, increasing in it through prayer, the Bible, the Church and good works. 

Join us as St Hilda's Parish for weekly Anglican Catholic Church Service, Mass / Holy Communion / Eucharist, Prayer and Worship. 11am at St Marys School Chapel in Victoria Street Maitland NSW Australia. All Welcome.

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