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 âGod was reconciling the world to himself â (2 Corinthians 5:19 RSV). In love for the world, God gave the Son to take away the worldâs 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 Jesusâ death, its causes and its effects, in human terms. But Luke reminds us to keep our vision of Godâs reconciling work in Christ big. Cosmic in fact. As St Paul reminds us in Romans 8 it is the whole creation that âwaits with eager longingâ¦to be set free from bondage to decayâ. Here in Lukeâs account of the death of Jesus we are reminded of the cosmic dimensions of Godâs ministry in and through Jesus. âFrom noon on, darkness came over the whole earth until three in the afternoonâ. 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. Matthewâs account adds: âThe earth shook and the rocks were split. Tombs openedâ¦â
Matthew pictures the very foundations of creation being disturbed. Again, this picture is entirely consistent with Paulsâ great hymn to Christ in Colossians 1: 15-20. âIn him all things were createdâ¦in him all things hold togetherâ¦and through him God was pleased to reconcile all things, whether in earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his crossâ.
The Assembly theme is âhearts on fireâ. We pray that the Holy Spirit not only sets our hearts aflame with the gospel but that the Spirit will âcome and renew the face of the earthâ.
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.
Pray for: Unitingworld partner – Protestant Christian Church in Bali
Assembly Standing Committee