We’re privileged this month to have a visit from Revd David Day and his wife Rosemary. They’ll be here from Durham as David preaches for us on the morning of Sunday 18th March and the day before leads a morning in the Barber Rooms to encourage preachers (see notice elsewhere). David was a colleague of mine at my previous church, and Wendy and I have known David and Rosemary since we were in their Bible Study group as a young married couple in Nottingham!
Though David has written books on preaching and has spoken to many groups across this country and internationally about communicating God’s word, I want to refer to some comments he makes in his book ‘Pearl of great price – the attractive Jesus’ which was a previous Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book.
Looking at the remarkable ‘hymn’ about Christ in Colossians 1:15-20, David says “Jesus is God in visible form. He is the God you can see and handle, a God handing himself over to be prodded and pushed about. Jesus is God in human flesh, expressed in a human life, in a particular place at a particular time…. So God inserts himself into the creation that he has made, like a life-giving serum injected into the bloodstream of a dying man. Only by coming into the world and working from the inside can he mend what is broken”.
The Colossians passage goes on to say that, through Jesus, God reconciles all things to himself, by making peace through Christ’s blood, shed on the cross. David comments that ‘Christ has absorbed all the hatred of sinful human beings and so made peace ‘through the blood of his cross’. He is the head of a new community, a new race of human beings who will be like his body on earth, living in harmony and love’.
As we continue our journey through Lent into Holy Week and on to the glory and joy of Easter, the living Lord Jesus calls us again to receive what he has done for us – to be reconciled to God and to one another and to be his ambassadors bringing this message of reconciliation to those amongst whom we live.
Here’s a prayer from David’s book that we might like to use this Lent:
O Christ, you stretched out your arms on the cross to reconcile one to another and bring peace in place of strife. Make us men and women of peace. Give us your courage that we may answer the call to be reconcilers. Give us your love that we may be swift to hear and slow to judge. Give us your wisdom that we may know when to speak and when to be silent. Give us your patience to persist until the task is done. Amen.
Yours in Christ,