Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Rowan Williams: Christmas Sermon

The full text of the sermon preached by the Archbishop of Canterbury in his cathedral on Christmas Day can be found here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 26 December 2007 at 10:55am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Church of England | Sermons

I am always partly astounded when Rowan writes or preaches like this, such a grand sweep. Cannot he see that it is exactly this great sweep which is carrying us forward in our new and revised understandings of human nature, of sexuality, of embodiment, and indeed of cosmology?

The surprising modern discovery is just that, so far as we can tell now, queer folks and women of immense talents are a regular, natural, functioning part of the extravaganza of creation details which Rowan dares to envision with us.

Or is it all, just only as the con evos would have it? And such groups are still outside, excluded from the extravaganza of the great kingdom feast? By traditional negative definitions and presuppositions?

Posted by: drdanfee on Wednesday, 26 December 2007 at 7:16pm GMT

I am so glad that Rowan "gets it", that healing this planet is about making it a fit place for God to dwell amongst us.

That dwelling can not happen amongst souls who can not imagine that God can be comfortable moving amongst fallible, broken human beings and still love them, despite their inadequacies.

The Teachers of the Law who refute God's ability to reconcile and be comfortable with humans just as they are fought against Jesus' words and conduct which testified exactly that 2000 years ago. In recent times, they attempted to misappropriate Jesus' name to "their side".

This excellent paper from Rabbi Lerner It opens with "Christmas and Chanukah share a spiritual message: that it is possible to bring light and hope in a world of darkness, oppression and despair." His comments on the differences in position between Jesus and Paul are pertinent.

Jesus incarnated as a Jew which meant he understood core Jewish principles, of which a most fundamental one is to not commit idolatry nor allow a soul to claim that they are God per se. Biblical passages that Jesus would have known include Daniel 11:35-39, which refers to a king that "... will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods... He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all." and Ezekiel 28:2-10 "‘In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.” But you are a man and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god. Are you wiser than Daniel ? Is no secret hidden from you?... You will be but a man, not a god, in the hands of those who slay you."

It was the jealous corrupt courtiers who were discredited when Daniel was vindicated and reconciled back to his king. There are some who sought to ruin Jesus' reputation by perverting teachings into accusatory aggressive theology. God punishes the corrupt, not the manipulated. God held Lavan in contempt, but Leah was still fruitful and it was from her root stock that both Moses and David arose

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Wednesday, 26 December 2007 at 8:03pm GMT
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