This week in Giving us life we remember the last sermon Martin Luther King ever preached, a prayer of St John Chrysotom and other good things...
Prayer of the week
O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? Christ is risen and life is freed, Christ is risen and the tomb is emptied of the dead: for Christ, being risen from the dead, has become the Leader and Reviver of those who had fallen asleep. To Him be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen
Remaining awake through a Great Revolution
Fifty years ago this Saturday Martin Luther King preached his last sermon. In it he was clear as to the rightness of the civil rights cause. Towards the end of his sermon he reminded his listeners
"We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.
Sadly too much of what he said remains terribly relevant. Recent events in the world of technology and politics also make his comments on how human progress cannot taken for granted and the passage of time is itself not a neutral thing.
"Somewhere we must come to see that human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals who are willing to be co-workers with God. And without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation. So we must help time and realize that the time is always ripe to do right.
Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham released a strong easter message for the region talking about Easter as a time of discovering life in all its fullness. He says this is about turning everyday living into a time of life for all.
“Which is why I tie Easter with things like why we need to have real living wage not just minimum wage. Why we [The Church] are engaged in tackling poverty, why we are a people of welcome to refugees and asylum seekers.
In addition he wrote an op ed in the Guardian entitled 'What would Jesus do? Pay workers a living wage"
The Anglican Communion Office released the usual roundup of messages from Anglican Primates (Archbishops of Anglican provinces) around the world. Generally this list keeps growing for a few days after Easter...
In his message the Ugandan Primate Stanley Ntagali focused on the fact that Easter is about life. In the face of what he calls a ‘growing culture of death’ he rejects violence: in crime, in the surrounding countries and strikingly in the issue of domestic violence writing:
We condemn all domestic violence. No exceptions. Men: it is NEVER right to beat your wife. Women: it is NEVER right to resolve conflict with violence. Women, you should never believe your Aunties when they tell you that if your husband doesn’t beat you then that means he doesn’t love you. That is a lie.
The letter is a striking reflection of the severe challenges the church in central africa is facing at the present time and the typically robust way their leaders are facing them.
Responding to domestic violence: Experiences from the churches in Cumbria
As is all too clear domestic abuse is a worldwide problem. A report authored by academics from Coventry and Leister universities explored the point prevalence of domestic abuse among female and male churchgoers, and the dynamics of that abuse together with the levels of awareness and attitudes in congregations. Althought there are likely to be regional variations, this report makes for concerning reading.
Overall, most respondents know that domestic abuse is a problem, at least outside the church, and most think that the church should do more to tackle it, but they are not very confident that their own church is equipped for this task