Challenging Thoughts for the Gospel read on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018

The story of God’s self-sacrifice…

is the story with a cross at its center but not at its end:

its plot moves toward the upsetting of all things,

the Great Reversal in which the dead Jesus was raised from the tomb,

and along with him our hope that death be swallowed up by life eternal.

Donald McCullough, The Wisdom of Pelicans

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I…argue that the Cross be raised…at the centre of the market-place

as well as in the steeple of the church….

Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles,

but on a cross between two thieves;

on the town garbage-heap;

at a crossroad so cosmopolitan

that they had to write his title in Hebrew and in Latin and in Greek;

At the kind of place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble.

Because that is where he dies.  And that is what he dies about.

And that is where churchmen should be

and what churchmanship should be about.

George MacLeod, Only One Way Left

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Jesus now has many lovers of his heavenly Kingdom,

but few bearers of his cross.

Thomas a Kempis

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Christians are like tea bags.

You never know what kind you are until you are in hot water.

Eleanor Searle Whitney

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Grant, O Lord,

that in your WOUNDS I may find my safety,

in your STRIPES my cure,

in your PAIN my peace,

in your CROSS my victory,

in your RESURRECTION my triumph,

and a crown of righteousness

in the glories of your eternal kingdom.

Jeremy Taylor

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