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Sunday, 8 May 2016

The Dance of Love: Living the prayer of Jesus (2)

Angus Ritchie, Director of The Centre for Theology & Community preached at St Paul’s Cathedral this morning on a theme that had synergies with my sermon on 'The Dance of Love'; the calling of the Church to help us “learn together how to be more fully human, and how to make a more human world.”

Angus said:

"The Ascension is above all about hope. It marks the completion, of Jesus’ earthly work. In him, God has entered the human condition to heal and restore it. Jesus shows us what a truly human life should be. We could say, without exaggeration, that Jesus us the first fully human being since the Fall. Our lives are not fully human. We are only partly the creatures God made us to be, as his image in us is marred by sin and death.

This is reflected in our day-to-day speech. When we have had a refreshing holiday, or are enjoying glorious sunshine like today’s, we say: “I feel more human.” It’s a recognition that we spend most of our lives feeling less than fully human. We have a sense that there is something – a fullness of life, a generosity of heart, a deeper connection with others – something we’re made for, which is largely missing from our lives. We are not who we should be, who we were made to be.

What, then, were we made to be? That question is answered in today’s Gospel. Human beings are made in the image of God, a God who is love, fellowship, communion. When we love one another, we participate in the fellowship which is at the very heart of God. That is why Jesus prays:

As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, … so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one.

That is the purpose of humanity, that is what we were made to be: made to share the very life of God, by living in his love."

Also of relevance from today's Observer:

"... happiness can never result from the exercise of choice alone: we are social beings, and the building blocks of happiness lie in looking out for each other, acting together, being in teams and pursuing common goals for the common good. Families, schools, colleges, unions, newspapers, sports clubs and even firms should all understand that such commonality should be part of their core DNA." (Will Hutton)


"The big issue for me concerns isolationism and the rise of rightwing extremism in Europe and beyond. The extremists are diametrically opposed to the EU’s founding values. We forget that this is something that binds us and protects us and that, as one of the posters puts it, is “the largest peace project in human history”." (Wolfgang Tillmans)


Pierce Pettis - That Kind Of Love.

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