Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Monday, January 14


The Vicar censored my sermon! 

I have to do the same sermon twice on a Sunday morning – one in each of our two services.  After the first one, the he asked me to consider leaving out a certain section of the sermon. ‘I’ll leave it with you to decide’ he says, which of course is no real choice at all.

Surprisingly, I don’t mind a bit. I was saying things that really need to be understood in context, and using words to mean the same thing, or else they become probably blasphemous.

In the context of a sermon on ‘Worship’, and emphasising the aspect of ‘Worship’ that is an expression of love: in fact defining ‘Worship’ as the expression of love, I noted that in the Book of Common Prayer marriage service, the man says to the woman “I worship you with my body”. In Christian marriage the man represents Christ while the woman represents his bride, the Church. Thus the man, speaking as a symbol of Christ, says to the woman as symbol of the Church “I worship you”. One would expect the church to worship Jesus, but Jesus worships the church.

So having explained all this in detail, I said to the congregation (slowly for emphasis) “Jesus – worships – you”

This crossed a line for some, and I’d already had a member of the congregation challenge me on it even before the Vicar came to me.

No fair enough, if in your definition ‘Worship’ divinity is attributed to the thing worshipped by the fact of being worshipped, i.e. either it is the one true God or an idolatrous imposter, then it is blasphemous. I knew it may be controversial, and I genuinely don’t mind being asked to take it out.

But I had already defined ‘Worship’ in terms of the expression of ultimate love. And I think it is perfectly reasonable to say that Jesus expresses ultimate love for us.

But … With my thinking cap working overtime ….2 Peter 1v4 says “you will participate in the divine nature”. I think we underestimate our future status. So, is my suggestion that wrong even by my opponents’ definition?

Discuss, but don’t burn me at the stake.

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