Rt Revd Dr George Browning
5th February 2006, Confirmation, Epiphany 5
Isaiah 40: 21-31; Psalm 147 page 377; 1 Corinthians 9:16-23; Mark 1:29-39
Bishop Browning preached without notes so this page only has a scribbles to entice you into the readings and reflections on various issues.
Rob Lamerton gathered the children for a talk. Bishop George was asked to address the children and since he was in his strange bishop's garb (mitre and crook especially!) he spoke about them.
Chelsea modelled the mitre very well, and we saw the red in the middle of the hat. Bishop George pointed that out and told the children the story of the spirit coming on the disciples (at Pentecost) and that it looked like "tongues of fire" on top of their heads. So the hat, the mitre, (on top of the head) is like a flame!
The bishop's sermon (and address to the confirmees) was focussed on the second reading. Paul was compelled to preach the gospel.
But… what is the Gospel?
The Celebration of Life. (life in all its fullness)
We are soon to see the program: "Jesus, All about Life"
This will be shown on local TV, and advertised in the area. It should be seen at least six times by most people. They may then be asking "What's it all about?". We have to be able to hear the question and be prepared to respond.
The ACT Council of Churches together with the Bible Society will be running a concentrated evangelistic media outreach program in the Canberra viewing area early in 2006: Jesus: all about life.
Bishop George then quoted a late night response from Graham Garrett to a similar question: "Even if I wasn't sure it is true, I'd live it as if it was; because I don't know any better way to live my life."
Bishop George quoted William Barclay:
Good — celebrates life
Evil — destroys life.
It's as "simple" as that!
BUT its still hard and we miss … recognise that and be humble…
The Isaiah reading… was written at the end of forty years of exile (a generation). The people were destroyed but Isaiah speaks these words to them.
God is all about LOVE.. Respond to God the life giver!