Rev. Bob Wickizer
Genesis 22:1-18; Psalm 22:1-21; Hebrews 10:1-25; John 19:1-37
While it is often said that Episcopal Church authority rests on the "three legged stool" of Scripture, Church tradition and Human reason, I have to confess that the Episcopal Church throughout the world contains a bias in our faith and practice. Now every denomination of Christian faith does in fact have a bias but I want to share with you the particular bias of this denomination, the Episcopal Church and I want to connect that bias with the events and Good News of Good Friday.
Going back to the days of William Shakespeare and Henry VIII, the first English language communion rites derived from the earlier Roman Gallic rites. Just after the breaking of the bread Episcopal or Anglican liturgies said the "Prayer of Humble Access" ending with the words, "Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us." Although this quaint and graphic English description of communion never won Christians any points with non-believers, the key to our understanding of the presence of Christ is that Christ dwells within us and we dwell within Christ.
Episcopal belief and piety is said to be incarnational. We literally embody our belief of who Christ is, where Christ is and how we are intimately connected with Christ. Today's reflection represents one very practical aspect of an incarnational, flesh-based faith.
Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was imprisoned and executed by the Hitler regime when his plot to assassinate Hitler was uncovered. Prior to his arrest and capture he had arranged to meet Hitler. Before he agreed to participate in such an un-Christian plot against evil, he wanted to meet the man and have some personal knowledge of his enemy. When Bonhoeffer returned to his university post in Germany after the meeting, his colleagues gat ...
There are 6674 characters in the full content. This excerpt only shows a 2000 character sample of the full content.