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We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia: Northern Churchman

We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia? The Northern Churchman There is a familiar feel to this time of year. The Christmas advertising on television, the darker evenings, the Carol Services – and the inevitable scoffers who call the Christmas story a myth. Not ‘Once in Royal...

Mark Pickles: The Story of Two Trampolines

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles The Story of the Two Trampolines:  A passage that is frequently referred to during times of great revival is Isaiah 64:1-3:  “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your...

Ten Thousand Bibles for London’s Children

TBS Auxiliary Meets Ten Thousand Bibles For London’s Children The Greater London Auxiliary of the Trinitarian Bible Society was delighted to report at its Annual Meeting held on 15 November that over 10,000 Bibles have been distributed to London schools since the...

Good News for Egypt’s Christians

Barnabas Fund Reports Good News for Egypt’s Christians The government of Egypt licensed 125 churches and church-affiliated buildings on 14 November. It is the 24th batch of approvals made since the government committee overseeing the licensing process started work in...

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw In the aftermath of Desmond Tutu’s daughter being refused permission to preside at a funeral in a Church of England parish, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw told The Guardian that the “C of E must move swiftly to welcome lesbian...

Collins: Who’s Your Righteousness?

Who’s Your Righteousness? By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins Who’s your righteousness? "The Lord our Righteousness" was the sermon preached March 20, 1757 at St. Mary's Church in Oxford. It offended nearly everyone that day and William Romaine was invited to never preach...

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963 Persons Against Whom Proceedings May be Instituted. Proceedings under this Measure may be instituted against an archbishop, any diocesan bishop or any suffragan bishop commissioned by a diocesan bishop or any other bishop or a...

Editorial: Joy to the World Cup

Editorial Joy to the World Cup The result of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is already in. And it appears the Church of England has lost. The latest advice from the Church of England’s Support Hub is for parishes to consider the timing of Christmas Carol Services to avoid...

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership By Chris Sugden Andrew Symes is to stand down as Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream on January 1, 2023, after nearly ten years in post. Rev Symes, 56, who had earlier served with Crosslinks in South...

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension By George Conger The former Bishop of Ramsbury has been suspended for life from the ordained ministry after he admitted to having sexually abused two women. The Daily Mail reported the Rt Rev. Peter Hullah had been the subject of...

Pilgrim’s Process: Spiritual Nourishment Needed by Peter Sanlon

We all need food to energise us for daily life. We all need food to energise us for our journey to heaven. There is something relationally encouraging and engaging about sharing a meal with a friend or family member. This is why the early church often ate together, even integrating a meal into regular worship. Of course pilgrims have not only normal meals to keep them going – we also are under instruction from Jesus to celebrate the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper – the meal of the new covenant. The Lord’s Supper emperors us to live for Jesus in a unique way.

Christians treasure the death of Jesus. We value the Lord’s Supper for the way it draws us closer into union with Jesus’ death for us. Charles Hodge argued in his systematic theology that the ongoing celebration of the Lord’s Supper is evidence of the cross: ‘It is just as certain that Christ died upon the cross as that Christians everywhere celebrate the Lord’s Supper.’

Cranmer followed Calvin’s lead, who was in turn indebted to Augustine – as they presented a vision of the Lord’s Supper that enables believers to supernaturally, by faith and in the power of the Spirit, feed on Christ. The benefits of the cross are given to us as we see, touch, taste and eat the sign of the gospel which is joined to the Word we hear.

We need and depend on every word in the Bible – and many varied aspects of discipleship are addressed in the divine book. But the Lord’s Supper focuses our senses on the death of Christ at the heart of God’s Word. And God’s Spirit uses that to draw us deeper into union with the Son. 

Like so many of the disciplines which God uses to bring spiritual reality into our lives, the Eucharist looks weak. We easily accept church attendance at a service in place of the spiritual food that God lays out for us. In earlier days preparation for receiving the Supper was more common – repentance for sins, relational restoration, time away from the world’s distractions. One of the ways we can be revived and fed to keep going in our pilgrimage, is to not only seek out the Lord’s Supper in obedience to him, but plan on approaching it with due preparation and spiritual expectation.

Rev. Dr. Peter Sanlon is rector of Emmanuel Anglican Church, Tunbridge Wells: www.emmanuelanglican.uk

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