Church

There is a Great Silence over the Earth

From an ancient homily for Holy Saturday:

What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled…

Read on here.

Church

Easter Cancelled in Syria

OBL news:

Good Friday and other Easter processions and festivals have been cancelled across Syria as street unrest boils over into violence.

The country’s Christian population has been forced to abandon its usually colourful and exuberant commemorations because of the number of “martyrs” who have died and the “bad situation”, a senior church official told The Daily Telegraph.

The whole country is braced for a wave of protests on Friday, despite an announcement that President Bashir al-Assad had signed a decree lifting the 48-year state of emergency, a key demand.

Government promises of reform combined with violence by armed plain-clothes security forces have only served to bolster the opposition, who are planning more demonstrations after regular Muslim Friday prayers.
But today these will clash with Good Friday services, which would normally see processions and public gatherings by Syria’s Christian minority, estimated at between 1-2 million, or around five per cent of the population…

More on this sad news here.

Church

Kate Middleton to Drop ‘Outdated’ Obey Vow

It is an issue that every bride marrying in the Church of England must consider: whether her vows to love and honour her new husband should also include a promise to “obey” him.

Yes, it’s actually nothing but a challenge to Biblical wisdom (authority?)… again.

The Telegraph:

And with the royal wedding less than a week away, there is growing speculation that Kate Middleton will drop what is increasingly seen as an anachronism from her own vows.

Diana, Princess of Wales, set a precedent in 1981 when she promised only to “love, comfort, honour and keep” the Prince of Wales.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s comment earlier this week that Prince William and Miss Middleton had “thought through what they want for themselves, but also what they want to say” has been interpreted as a clue that they want to take their vows as equals.

Dr Rowan Williams might even have encouraged Miss Middleton to leave out the vow of obedience, as he has said in the past that for a bride to promise obedience without her husband doing the same is an outdated idea that could be used to justify domestic violence…

Encouraged?! Leading people astray, that’s what it is. Any wonder Anglicanism is in the mess it is.

There is more here.

And just to affirm what God’s perfect plan is for marriage is: 

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands (Eph 5:22-24).

Now that’s what I would be advocating… but then, that’s just me.

Church

Where was Jesus on Holy Saturday?

Hell Descent.jpgWrites Steve Ray:

He was in the tomb, of course. Soldiers guarded the tomb and a seal had been placed on the stone. His dead and bloodied body lay wrapped in the shroud of burial.

But in 1 Peter 3:18 we are told that while his body lay cold in the tomb, he was moving around preaching the Gospel!

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison.

1 Peter 4:6 says that the gospel was preached to the dead:

For this is why the gospel was preached even to the dead, that though judged in the flesh like men, they might live in the spirit like God.

Paragraph 632 of the Catechism says,

The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was “raised from the dead” presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection. This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ’s descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there. Paragraphs 633 and 634 add more light on Jesus’ descent into hell.

Remember the story of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31)? Jesus tells of those in the afterlife. The Bible does not tell us everything, but what it tells us is true and gives us a glimpse into the unseen world. Jesus will return from the underworld, his body and soul will be reunited and he will rise from the grave–Easter morning is right around the corner. If a video camera had been set up inside the tomb 2000 years ago we would have seen a cold lifeless body rise up and walk out of the tomb.

He is RISEN! He is risen indeed! And because HE has risen, we will rise too!