Day 28 Sacred Season

Day 28 Sacred Season

Day 28.  6th July The sun stopped shining :  Luke 23:44-49   Rev Alistair Macrae Past President Uniting Church in Australia

 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining  (Luke 23:44-45b NIV)

 Basis of Union Paragraph 3:  The Church preaches Christ the risen crucified One and confesses him as Lord to the glory of God the Father. In Jesus Christ “God was reconciling the world to himself ” (2 Corinthians 5:19 RSV). In love for the world, God gave the Son to take away the world’s sin.

 The death of Jesus is at the heart of the Christian faith. The One we claim to be the incarnate Son of God was crucified by and for our sin in order that we might know renewed and transformed life in Christ. Usually we try to understand Jesus’ death, its causes and its effects, in human terms. But Luke reminds us to keep our vision of God’s reconciling work in Christ big. Cosmic in fact. As St Paul reminds us in Romans 8 it is the whole creation that ‘waits with eager longing…to be set free from bondage to decay’. Here in Luke’s account of the death of Jesus we are reminded of the cosmic dimensions of God’s ministry in and through Jesus. ’From noon on, darkness came over the whole earth until three in the afternoon’. Even the sun in the heavens shielded its eyes from the unfolding horror of a world which would crucify its Saviour. When Jesus breathed his last the curtain in the Temple split from top to bottom. Matthew’s account adds: ‘The earth shook and the rocks were split. Tombs opened…’

Matthew pictures the very foundations of creation being disturbed. Again, this picture is entirely consistent with Pauls’ great hymn to Christ in Colossians 1: 15-20. ‘In him all things were created…in him all things hold together…and through him God was pleased to reconcile all things, whether in earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross’.

The Assembly theme is ‘hearts on fire’. We pray that the Holy Spirit not only sets our hearts aflame with the gospel but that the Spirit will ‘come and renew the face of the earth’.

 Prayer:

Living God, who raised Jesus from the dead,

come to your church afresh to heal and renew us.

Set our hearts on fire with confidence in your healing power.

Heal our divided and damaged hearts.

Heal the enmities that divide people.

Heal the wounded earth and lead us into gentler ways of living.

Lead us in the ways of peace-making in the spirit of the Prince of Peace.

Lead us into justice-seeking in the power of Christ the reconciler.

Lead us deeper into your love, Triune God,

That we may serve you and our neighbour with joy, now and always.

Amen.

 
Pray for:  Unitingworld partner –  Protestant Christian Church in Bali

Assembly Standing Committee