Thursday, October 19, 2017

From the Missioner's desk 18 October 2017

 
Dear Friends,
 
 
Matthew 25 King James Version (KJV)
 
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
King James Version (KJV)
 
 
For the last six weeks, I spent each half day visiting my wife, after she had a knee replacement operation in Launceston General Hospital.
When you spend so much time in a hospital then you experience in many cases new things:

First of all , you realize that there is so much suffering about. Not only old people, but also young ones.
Then, when you observe the nursing staff in action, the doctors performing their duties and all the support staff such as house staff, physiotherapists with patience , love and care towards the patients. As a Missioner/Priest here in Launceston, I feel that I have been called to preach Christ Crucified, to heal the sick and comfort the broken hearted. I believe that all those I mentioned working at Launceston General Hospital have been called to their professions and jobs, because they want to care with love and patience for the sick and suffering.
 
Whilst first of all I give thanks to God for bringing my wife home safely tomorrow, I thank God too for all the staff, who looked after her so well during these six weeks. God bless you all.
 
Let it be known from Saint Matthew 25 , verses listed down below, if you care for those who are sick and suffering you have  done it unto Jesus.
I had the opportunity to sit with a number of people and pray for healing. This was indeed a joy.
 
Blessings,
 
Father Ed Bakker
Priest & Missioner
Anglican Catholic Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston
Tasmania
Australia
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Saint Luke the Evangelist Wednesday 18 October 2017


Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,

Today is the feast day of St. Luke. Most of us know him only as the author of the Gospel that bears his name. Some know that he was a medical doctor, and perhaps very few know that according to tradition, Luke was also the very first iconographer of our Lord. In other words, St. Luke drew the first portrait of our Lord that has become a model for artists right down to our own day. It’s also probably not widely known among Christians that St. Luke was martyred for preaching the Christian faith at the age of 84.

According to today’s Gospel text, written by the hand of Luke himself, the Lord commissioned 70 preachers to proclaim the Gospel in advance of the Lord’s coming. It is believed universally in the Church that Luke was one of these preachers.
And even though St. Luke was a highly educated man, a doctor, an artist, a researcher who could hold his own against any other ancient historian from the Greco-Roman world, and a magnificent writer, whose poetic pictures with words spellbind us to this day as his prose is read aloud, especially at Christmastime, note the humility with which he preaches.

He is sent as a lamb among wolves, carrying neither wallet nor shoes, walking along the road speaking to no-one, a man seemingly of no great importance treading along the filthy road like a beggar. He has no entourage, no celebrity status, no perks of being a member of the intelligentsia or of the medical profession. He is proclaiming the coming of one far greater than the greatest of the world’s wealthy and powerful men.

Some people greet these preachers in peace, in which case the Lord, speaking through the preacher, blesses that home with his peace. He is to heal the sick, and to make an announcement to those who welcome him, and those who welcome him not: “The kingdom of God has come near you.”

To those who receive the peace from the preacher, this announcement is good news, but to those who will be judged by the Word of God, the preacher’s words are ominous and frightful.

This is the ministry to which this doctor - this healer of the body, this historian, this artist, this writer of the Gospel narrative – has been called.

It is the same ministry to which St. Timothy is called by the same Apostle who takes Luke under his wing: St. Paul. Paul commissions Timothy to “Do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” Part of Timothy’s work is to preach on the holy Gospel that St. Luke has written, to proclaim this good news to those who gladly hear and learn it, as well as to those who mock and scoff.

This is the same commission given to every preacher from the time of the apostles.
And just as Paul’s life is “being poured out as a drink offering,” so too would St. Luke be beaten to death in the future by a mob of those who would reject the good news. And yet, Luke’s simple, but eloquent and thorough proclamation of the Gospel continues to this day, as his words are read from lecterns and pulpits in every Christian church in the world, in every language, and on every continent. Luke’s words (which are really God’s Word) ring out, and have rung out, every day around the globe for nearly two thousand years without interruption – though tyrants and dictators have tried to snuff them out. Our father in Christ St. Luke continues to join with us even here at Salem as we gather around our blessed Lord in his Gospel and in his Supper with all the angels, archangels, and every saint in heaven.

St. Luke began his work as a medical doctor with the calling of easing pain, of stopping issues of blood, of grasping life itself from the jaws of death – but even in that noble vocation, death always eventually claims the patient. However, the Lord Jesus transforms Luke into a new kind of doctor, who eases the pain of guilty consciences, who gives out the life-giving blood of the Lord, who rescues from death and the grave to give life that never ends. He is called to do the work of the Great Physician himself.

In the course of this work, the sainted doctor would find himself, like our Lord, being tortured with agonizing pain, with his own lifeblood being spilled as a drink offering, and the seeping out of his life in this fallen world as he was made a martyr for the faith. But in this dying, he is given life. And once more the iconographer of our Lord becomes an image of Christ in his own suffering and death.

Dear friends, St. Luke continues to preach and proclaim today. Even though the devil has temporarily silenced his tongue, his hand and pen still cry out: “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” Even though Satan has, for the time being, stopped the hands of the artist, his life and proclamation of Christ continue to be an icon of Jesus and his saving work. Though Luke’s blood was spilled, it was blood mingled by the blood of Jesus in holy communion, blood that has watered the earth only to nourish and cause new seeds of faith to sprout, blood which courses through the body of Christ, the Church, bringing eternal life to every little cell and member in that body to this very day.

And as much affection we have for our dear sainted father Luke, our brother in the faith, the doctor of souls, the painter of icons, the writer of the very Word of God – he is but a humble instrument. He stands today before the throne of God, with shoes removed (for that is holy ground), with no wallet (for he shares in eternal riches), eating and drinking of the glories set before him. But there is one important difference: St. Luke is no longer in the company of sinners in need of repentance. His work there is done, in the church triumphant. But here, in the church militant, this intellectual giant who was to become a humble preacher, continues to ease suffering, to offer the blood of the Lamb to patients in need of a spiritual transfusion, to spread life around to any and all who receive the prescription.

There is a good reason why the Church has always celebrated October 18 as the feast of St. Luke. He is not only an inspiration and holy example to every preacher, but also to every Christian. For Luke’s entire life was a humble offering to the Lord. One need not be a preacher to be a witness. In fact, the vast majority of Christian martyrs, whose witness of Jesus cost them their very lives, have been men and women who serve the church and give testimony of our Lord as members of the laity.
St. Luke has not only left us portraits of Jesus and poetic accounts of the narrative of his life, St. Luke was and is a tool through which our blessed Lord has redeemed, is redeeming, and will redeem the universe.

And that redemption is yours, dear brothers and sisters in Christ. It is all yours. Every inspired word in St. Luke’s Gospel is there for your healing, for your life, and for your salvation.

And as another preacher, St. Gregory the Great, bishop of Rome, preached on this very day some fourteen centuries ago, “Pray indeed the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. And pray for us that we may be able to serve you as you deserve, that our tongue may never grow tired of exhorting you, lest having undertaken this office of preaching, our silence condemn us in the sight of our just judge.”

With St. Luke and St. Gregory and every Christian preacher of every time, I proclaim this truth to you, dear saints of Salem: “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” Amen.

Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston
Tasmania
Australia

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The eighteenth Sunday after Trinity

Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,

  St. Mark 12:28f
 

 “He had answered them well”
 
The context is controversy.  It almost always is when it is a matter of spiritual truth.  Truth which unites is frequently what divides; a deeper unity may sometimes be only found through the divisions of our hearts, when our hearts are broken and opened to view.  For then, and only then, perhaps, we discover what it is that we believe, what it is that we stand for, if anything at all.  Sometimes it takes controversy.  As the song which Mary Ann Dufour sang once at a tv variety show puts it, “you’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything”, and everything, we might add.  There are “the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil”.
 
But what does it mean to stand for something?  Is it simply a matter of assertion, an matter of self-definition which demands recognition upon no other basis than the subjective claim about our desires and interests?  Are we in fact defined simply by our sexual and material desires?  Is the truth just what we make it?  Or do we stand for something objective and received, truth that defines us even in our untruth?
 
Sometimes we learn through controversy.  Sometimes through controversy something of the truth of God is at once communicated and received.  What is to be looked for is some deeper understanding of truth, “tam antiquo, tam novo”,  “truth so ancient and so new”. 
 
Jesus is engaged in religious disputation.  “Which is the first commandment of all?”, he is asked by a member of the literary caste, the scribes, the writers of words which are like pictures into which we may step if we choose.  We shall never be the same for truth always confronts and convicts us.  This scribe, about whom Jesus will ultimately say, “thou art not far from the Kingdom of God” perceived that “[Jesus] had answered them well” and so is led to ask the overwhelming question, “which is the first commandment of all?” He is, we might say, compelled by the truth itself in the context of controversy and even intellectual animosity where power is more at issue than truth.  But “Jesus had answered them well”. 
 
And he continues to do so in his magisterial “Summary of the Law”.  The greatest commandment is the love of God and the love of neighbour, “there is none other commandment greater than these”.  Powerful stuff.  Irrefutable stuff.  “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”.  And yet profoundly provocative and controversial.  Why?  Because of its clarity.  This clarity about charity puts everything into perspective.  It cuts through all the clutter and confusion of history and experience.  It crystallizes the whole of the Jewish Scriptures, what Christians call the Old Testament.  It is a kind of distillation of the teachings of the Old Testament, almost, we might say, a kind of Old Testament Creed, and certainly one which challenges many perspectives about that remarkable collection of books and stories and poems.  Is it really all about love?  How can law be love? 
 
Because the Law is nothing more than the expression of God’s will and truth for our humanity and if it convicts us of our own shortcomings, as it most surely does, especially from a Christian understanding, then it does so only to recall us to truth.  Such is repentance and prayer. 
 
There are two forms of turning back to God, the one is in thanksgiving, the other is in repentance.  Both are an acknowledgment of the truth of God which measures us and not the other way around.  But that measure is, ultimately, one which redeems and sanctifies our loves and our experiences.  How?  By bringing them to the truth of God without which “all loving [is] mere folly”. 
 
“The Summary of the Law”, as we have come to call it liturgically and theologically, is not a creed.  It is not, as some have wanted to suggest, the Jewish Creed to be incorporated into the Christian liturgy as equivalent to the Catholic Creeds.  The word ‘creed’ needs to be used most advisedly; it is really a Christian concept which should not be cavalierly read into other contexts and situations.  What makes the word ‘creed’ something peculiarly Christian comes out in the rest of this gospel story. 
 
Jesus, who had answered well and answered well again, also has responded to the scribe’s recognition of the truth of his words, saying that “thou art not far from the kingdom of God”.  “After that”, we are told, “no one dared to ask him any questions”.  But Jesus goes on to challenge certain ideas about the Messiah, saying in effect that the Messiah of Israel is more than just a son of David, that is to say of the royal Davidic lineage, and more than a political saviour, (like the sought-for leader of the Conservative Party!), because he has a more transcendent, indeed, eternal origin, namely, God; ultimately, as we say credally, He is “God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God”. 
 
Jesus is the Messiah who is God with us, true God and true Man.  In this lies the heart of the creeds.  The focus is on the utter uniqueness of Christ as one with the Lord God of the Old Testament to whom David, Shepherd and King, Poet and Warrior, is also subject.  “Jesus is Lord”, after all, is the earliest form of credal statement that we have in the New Testament; a statement which we can only say “by the Spirit”. 
 
Here the Old Testament is summed up by Jesus and, even more, the commandment of twofold love is signaled as realized in Jesus himself.  Something of the transcendent truth of God is being made known even in the midst of controversy and it is made known through scriptural interpretation; ultimately, through an interpretation which is, at least, proto-credal in shape and substance. 
 
In this, perhaps, we begin to find a way to think through our present difficulties.  We return to the Creeds and to the Scriptures credally understood, that is to say, understood through the primacy of the categories of creation, redemption and sanctification, and even more through the primacy of the love of God revealed as Trinity, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.  In the primacy of these categories and in the embrace of the Trinity, we find the objective determinants of our humanity, and not otherwise.  And in the creeds, too, we find the principle of approach to all questions of morality, namely, the doctrine of “the forgiveness of sins”.
 
There is no new truth that stands over and against the words of Jesus.  There can be, at best, a deepening of the understanding about our humanity, though at the same time, it has to be said, that there can equally be a loss of understanding.  With respect to the current controversy about human sexuality, there is no third sex - a homosex, as it were.  What we confront in this debate is really a feature of consumer culture which demands that we be defined by our appetites and desires, by the ambiguity of our so-called orientations which have no objective basis either biologically or biblically, instead there are only the ambiguities of the subjective determinations of psychology and the politics of identity.
 
This gospel would have us defined by the redemption of our desires, calling us into the love of God and the love of one another in honesty and truth.  Here we find the possibilities for the redemption of our friendships and our marriages, and not their confusion.  We are, all of us, whether we choose to define ourselves as gay or straight, implicated in the sexual confusions of our age.  We need the clarity of the gospel to discover again the charity of God without which we are nothing and nothing worth, especially in the folly of our self-assertions.   There is one who has answered well. 
 
“He had answered them well”

Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston
Tasmania
Australia


Monday, October 9, 2017

The Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity - 8 October 2017

 
Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,

 Luke 14:1-11

Jesus said, "Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled and he who humbles himself shall be exalted." 

My friends, a few minutes ago, as you listened to the Gospel reading, you heard about the man with dropsy. I really didn't know very much about dropsy. I know that we would say, when we can't hold onto something and we keep dropping it, "I must have dropsy." I guess that's a common use of the word. 


Actually, it is a rather antiquated word to describe something that medical people nowadays call edema, which means excessive fluid in the system. I don't pretend to be a doctor but what I did learn about edema is that it isn't a disease in itself, but rather a symptom of something else that is really wrong with a person. Frequently it involves the kidneys or congestive heart failure or some other radical disease that is within the system, such as cancer A person balloons up with all the fluid in his system. 

This is the afflicted individual who was standing in front of Jesus at a dinner to which He had been invited. It was obvious the man was very ill. Jesus would have to ask some questions of the people who were assembled there because they were watching Him closely, as Luke tells us. 

He asks them a very simple question, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?" Immediately, He put them on the horns of dilemma. If they said what they should have said, "No, it is not right to heal on the Sabbath," for the practice of medicine was specifically forbidden by Jewish law, that would have been absurd. Cleverly, He poses the dilemma. They couldn't answer Jesus' question one way or the other; they very prudently kept their mouths shut. 

So Jesus simply healed the man. What a radical transformation must have come over this individual. He was completely changed, completely transformed. He no longer was so bloated. He looked normal. Whatever had caused these symptoms was gone as well. What a miraculous thing Jesus has done! 

Now He decides to give the people a little instruction. "Which of you have some beast of burden? If it were to fall into a cistern, wouldn't you pull it out on the Sabbath?" Oddly enough, to do so was allowed in Jewish law. But you couldn't heal or practice medicine on the Sabbath. How absurd! How absolutely crazy! 

Jesus continues this instruction for those people who were watching Him. Rather than embarrass His host, who had invited Him to this luncheon (probably after the Sabbath service at the synagogue), He proposes a little parable to them. "When you show up for a wedding, don’t go and grab the best seats at table. Somebody more important than you might have been invited and you would have to give up that place." In Jewish society the seating of guests at a banquet was incredibly complex. It had to do with age and rank and wealth and whatever else was part of the mix. The idea was that the person who ranked highest would sit closest to the host; the lowest, farthest away. 

Jesus had just watched them scramble for the best seats at this meal but he doesn't directly criticize them. Instead He says, When you go to a wedding, don't do that. Seek the lowest place and then the host can say, 'Friend, come up higher'." Now He wasn't instructing them on the niceties of etiquette in the Jewish community. Rather He was trying to teach them something else, about their relationship with God; that they should live their lives with honesty, simplicity, and humility. 
 
In order for us to understand, we read that final line in today's Gospel: "Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted." What does that mean? Very simply, you and I must understand the virtue of humility in such a way that we come to realize that before God we are what we are. What a beautiful teaching that comes fast upon the healing of the man with dropsy. He was all bloated. Now Jesus is dealing with people who were bloated with pride. He wants to heal them as well. 

He doesn't want us to fall prey to the illness of pride. He who humbled Himself in obedience to His Father, even to the point of death on the cross could give this lesson in humility. "Be honest," He is saying, "about who you are and what you are before God, first and foremost. It is your relationship with your God that is so important. If you exalt yourself, God will put you down. If you humble yourself, God will raise you up. 

That is the moral of the parable, if you will. It is a lesson that you and I must understand. Humility is honesty with oneself before God: to be honest about who and what we are; to acknowledge the fact that God has perhaps given us great talents. That is not pride to acknowledge those talents. That is honesty. And it is humility. False humility is to have the gifts and hide them under a bushel basket. False humility is to say, when you know you are able, "Oh, I'm not really good at this at all." You really think in your heart of hearts that you are able. That puffs you up. That gives you "spiritual dropsy". That we don't want . 

What we want to have is a simplicity before God that says, "I am what I am. I have these gifts. I have these failings. I acknowledge the fact that I am a sinner before God; that I fail many times a day; that I must seek the forgiveness of my God." If we do that, we are building the kind of humility that Christ our Lord wants us to have. 
In the first reading this morning from the fourth chapter of Saint Paul's letter to the Ephesians (That whole fourth chapter is such a beautiful teaching on the unity of the Mystical Body as well as the diversity of gifts within the Body) Paul says, 
"I plead with you then, as a prisoner for the Lord, to live a life worthy of the calling you have received with perfect humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another lovingly, making every effort to preserve the unity which has the Spirit as its origin and peace as its binding force." 

"This is the way you and I are to be," says Paul. Later on in that chapter, he says very simply, "You must lay aside your former way of life and the old self which deteriorates through illusion and desire." (Illusion is pride.) "Acquire a fresh spiritual way of thinking. You must put on that new man created in God's image whose justice and holiness are born of truth" (Ephesians 4:22-24). 

That was quite a luncheon Jesus attended. It started out with the healing of the poor bloated man standing before Him. It ended by pricking the bloat of the people that were assembled, teaching them about true humility. Let this be the word for the week that we carry with us from church this morning. "Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled and he who humbles himself shall be exalted."

Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church/Original Province,
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne,
Launceston on Tasmania,
Australia

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity

Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
 St. Luke 7:11f

“Young man, I say unto thee, Arise”
 
The love of God reaches out and touches.  It heals and restores.  That love is made visible in the compassion of Christ.  Something of the infinite extent of God’s love is somehow brought near.  Jesus reaches out to us.  He came near, first, to the gates of the city of Nain, then, to the bier carrying the young man who was dead.  He reaches out and touches.  He speaks healing words, first, to the bereaved mother and then, to the dead.  He restores him, first, to life and then, to his mother and to his community.  There is resurrection. 
 
The compassion of Christ is the moving force in this story.  “And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her”.   It makes tangibly real the love of God, the love which comes into our midst to touch, to heal and to restore.  But there is something more here as well.  The love of God made visible and tangibly real in the compassion of Christ does not only come near to us; it enters into the very fabric of our lives so that it may shape our lives in love and compassion.  The love of God which here reaches out and touches, heals and restores is to be the moving force in our lives. 
 
Luke begins his account by telling us “that Jesus went into a city called Nain” before describing this encounter which took place as “he came nigh to the city”.  His coming near is part of the process of his entering into the fabric of our lives.  The compassion of Christ is to be made visible and tangibly real in us.  It belongs to the witness of the Church, a witness so tangibly real and so powerfully demonstrated in the works of corporal mercy.  These are ‘the works of the body for the body and in the body of Christ’.  They are sometimes made dramatically visible as, for example, in the life and work of Mother Teresa.  The compassion of Christ is what reaches out and touches, heals and restores.
 
The children of the Sunday School are inviting you to engage in one of the works of corporal mercy, the work of “feeding the hungry”.  It is, ultimately, a work of faith in which we reach out to the poor and the hungry in our own community. 
 
Poverty is a complicated and complex affair in our contemporary culture, far more,  perhaps, than we realize.  We often misapprise it and avert our gaze.  It is, at once, social, economic, psychological, political, generational, geographical; in short, it is a profoundly spiritual problem.  It confronts us like the young man dead on a bier before Christ.  But what shall we do?  Turn away and step aside?  Walk over them as if they weren’t there?  Wag our fingers in judgement and shake our heads disapprovingly?  No.  “The poor you have with you always”, Jesus tells us, “you can do with them what you will”.  What do we will?  The children of the Sunday School propose an offering of money to go to the local Food Bank in time for Thanksgiving.  I hope that you will support their effort generously.  And beyond that?  Well, I hope that we can do something more and more regularly, like placing a box in the narthex of the Church for gifts of food to complement the poor-box for the giving of alms.  Such things are nothing less than the visible tokens of the compassion of Christ moving in us.
 
The compassion of Christ in the gospel and in the example of human lives recalls us to a profounder understanding of our humanity.  To say, as is commonly said, that our world is simply ‘driven by technology’ or that we are merely ‘economically determined’ is to overlook or forget that we belong to a much more complex web of relationships.  This gospel story shows us that the real driving force of our lives must be the compassion of Christ. 
 
The compassion of Christ would reconstitute our human lives upon a divine foundation.  Ultimately, the truth of our humanity is to be found precisely in the love of God.  Without that we are left simply and utterly bereft.  We would be like the widow of Nain - always weeping, without consolation.  And that, perhaps, is the best thing that could be said about us, for at least then there is an awareness of our emptiness and need, even the need to forgive and be forgiven.  The worst thing would be our arrogant selfishness and the terror of our technological tyranny over and against one another.
 
The compasssion of Christ shown in the gospel is a real and powerful force.  It is shown so as to be lived by all of us.  Christ has not just come near; he has entered into the very fabric of our lives to shape us in his love and compassion.  It is a life-long process - a growing in love and understanding.  We don’t always get it right.  After all, even in Nain following this remarkable encounter, they mistook the nature of the moving force in their midst.  Some said “that a great prophet is risen up among us” and others, coming closer but still standing afar off in understanding, said “that God hath visited his people”, as if there is just the coming and going of God, here today and gone tomorrow. 
 
These were the “rumours of him” that “went forth throughout all Judaea”, St.  Luke tells us.  But in identifying the moving force of the story, namely, the compassion of Christ, he is also telling us about what abides in and through the comings and goings of our own lives.  The compassion of Christ is an abiding love.  We are to abide in that love so that it may take shape and move in us. 
 
The compasssion of Christ is the moving force, too, of the Church’s life.  It reaches out and touches, heals and restores us to one another and to God.  And it compels us to reach out, touch, heal and restore in the name of Christ.  Christ enters in that he may take shape in us.  Such is the continuing nature of the resurrection.  We are bidden to arise and to live in the compassion of Christ. 
 
“Young man, I say unto thee, Arise”

Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston, Tasmania
Australia