Winchester Diocesan Synod Conference 2013 – Session 16
Bishop Tim’s sermon from our concluding Holy Communion together, as usual this is a live blog, apologies for any typos or spelling mistakes:
This is the day, two years ago, that my announcement was made. It is fantastic to see where we’ve come from in the last two years.
Wanted to speak on John 20 before +Tom spoke on it a few days ago. Focussing on peace and receive the Spirit. We miss these when focussing on the “as the Father so I”. Chaplain to the Garter – an extraordinary privilege to do it – when we gather for Ordinary of the Garter – play a small role in the service – with a particular reading the same one every time – Ephesians 6:1-20. Reading the passage, “having shod your feet for the preparation of the gospel of peace” and the Lord spoke to +Tim. Stopped, didn’t know for how long, in front of his majesty the Queen! It’s all about peace is what he heard God say. Carried on reading but didn’t know what happened, or where he stopped!
Reflecting on peace, exploring the significance of it. Took that emotional moment to go deeper and bring home some things. The outcome of mission is peace – that’s what it is all about – longing to see as something we will all commend ourselves to. That longing and hope that we have that all things will be put right, that creativity will be fulfilled. Nothing less than +Tom spoke about – a longing for recreation – for when creation will be full of the glory of God.
It is the first day of the recreation when Jesus greets his disciples. We think of his words as a normal greeting, but he returns to it a second time, I’m not just greeting you in the normal way, but the peace I can now give you because of who I am, and what’s happened through the resurrection. He is the peace and it is in that vain the Father sent him.
It is that great eschatological hope we can share with everyone we meet – the peace in Jesus. Don’t forget what Jesus also says – “don’t let your hearts be troubled”.
It is very clear the forgiveness he is talking about is the reconciliation with God – we need to share it with others so that they share it with others around that.
Athelston and his vision of understanding Jesus as the risen Lord is something we could begin to focus on. It is the offer to enter into peace when he says “receive the Spirit”. It is almost a pleading with the disciples. The Spirit of the mission of the Farher and the Son – the Spirit who animated Jesus in His mission – the very Spirit of Mission.
It is the same greeting of peace that Jesus ives Thomas after he has put his hand in Jesus’s side. The sense of another comforter is something we can receive. Jesus is the first comforter, the first divine missionary who can make peace possible, and now he says there is another comforter coming. The Missionary Spirit who works in Jesus can work in us.
Jesus did it through the way of the prophet – comforting and challenging. Jesus was constantly comforting and challenging to bring the peace about. We will enter into this way of comfort and challenge – parakleis – the way of life – the fourth P! A way of life for us of comforting and challenging. Jesus is the prophet greater than Moses whose historical mission reveals God’s mission and whose risen mission reveals his mission in us. He calls us into this life of comfort and challenge that there might be peace. Receive the Spirt, live the mission of Jesus, bring the comfort and challenge so that the ultimate peace might be in this world.