Sunday, 28 December 2008

Christmas sermons

The Archbishop of Canterbury preached at Canterbury Cathedral.

It is … a new creation … [that] can be brought into being only in ‘flesh’: not by material force, not by brilliant negotiation but by making real in human affairs the depth of divine life and love; by showing ‘glory’ — the intensity and radiance of unqualified joy, eternal self-giving. Only in the heart of the ordinary vulnerability of human life can this be shown in such a way, so that we are saved from the terrible temptation of confusing it with earthly power and success.

Read the full sermon here.

The Archbishop of York referred to the economic situation in his sermon.

If I enrich myself at my poor neighbour’s expense, when they are in financial straits, I certainly have the wrong attitude on the matter. True charity repudiates the idea of personal gain as a result of lending money to make ruthless gain- usury – bringing about permanent disappropriation and enslavement. Clearly the way to come closer to God is to be generous and honest towards our fellow human beings.

Extracts from his sermon can be read here

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Sunday, 28 December 2008 at 8:50pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Sermons

++John Sentamu's invitation to focus on togetherness and sharing our bounty reminds me of the Eight Degrees of Charity outlined by Maimonides the 12th century Jewish Philosopher. When there is such disparity between the "have" and "have not" even at the most basic level in thie world today, this hierarchy should make us pause for thought.

1. He who gives to the poor, but with bad grace.
2. He who gives with good grace, but not enough.
3. He who gives enough, but only after being asked
4. He who gives without being asked.
5. He who gives without knowing who will benefit from his gift.
6. He who gives without the beneficiary of the gift knowing who is helping him.
7. He who gives without knowing the beneficiary and without the beneficiary knowing him.
8. He who fights poverty by giving the poor man the means to escape from his condition.

Posted by: PeterM on Monday, 29 December 2008 at 11:24am GMT
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