The quiet reflection service is a guided meditation on the readings for the week, accompanied by a couple of hymns. It starts at 1pm on Thursdays, and runs for about 40 minutes.
Quiet Reflection for 2018 will continue every week until the 20th December.
Following is the service for the 13th September 2018 . Silence 13Sep18 If you click on it, it should open in your browser. (To return to the page, press the ‘back’ button in your browser.)
Alternatively, you may just read the whole text below.
Pentecost 17 13th September 2018
Losing one’s life is the way to find it! This is not abandonment of self care, but abandonment of preoccupation with building and maintaining a self at the expense of others, disempowering and impoverishing others.
Hymn: 730 Jesus remember me (5 times)
Mark 8: 31-38 (J B Phillips New Testament, abridged)
Jesus then began to teach them that it was inevitable that the Son of Man should go through much suffering and be utterly repudiated by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He told them all this quite bluntly. This made Peter draw him on one side and take him to task about what he had said. But Jesus turned and faced his disciples and rebuked Peter. “Out of my way, Satan!” he said. “Peter, you are not looking at things from God’s point of view, but from a human’s!”
34-38 Then he called his disciples and the people around him, and said to them, “If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps, they must give up all right to themselves, take up their cross and follow me. The person who tries to save their life will lose it; it is the person who loses their life for my sake and the Gospel’s who will save it. What good can it do a person to gain the whole world at the price of their own soul? What can a person offer to buy back their soul once they has lost it? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this unfaithful and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in the Father’s glory with the holy angels around him.”
The Cross and the Gospels are unveiling the founding mechanism of all worldly prestige, all forms of sacredness and all forms of cultural meaning. A process is taking place below the surface, and it has no precedence. It discredits and demonstrates all the gods of violence, since it reveals the true God, who has not the slightest violence. Since the time of the Gospels, people as a whole have always failed to comprehend this mystery, and do so still. So no empty threat or gratuitous nastiness is involved in the text’s saying exactly what has always been happening and what will continue to happen, (“lose their soul”) despite the fact that present-day circumstances combine to make the revelation ever more plain. René Girard
For us, as for those who first heard the Gospel, the stone, Jesus, rejected by the builders has become the permanent stumbling block. By refusing to listen to what is being said to us, we are creating a fearsome destiny for ourselves. And there is no one, except ourselves, who can be held responsible. Christ plays this role of stumbling block for all who remain scandalized by the wisdom embodied in the text. His role is paradoxical, since he offers not the slightest hold to any form of rivalry or mimetic interference. There is no acquisitive desire in him. As a consequence, any will that is really turned toward Jesus will not meet with the slightest of obstacles. His yolk is easy and his burden is light. With him, we run no risk of getting caught up in the evil opposition when people are in imitative rivalry, often escalating to violence. René Girard
Mark makes it plain. Only as the suffering Son of Man is Jesus the Messiah. Jesus the Messiah will be vulnerable. He is on the way to Jerusalem. His crowning will be on a cross with a crown of thorns. Mark’s portrait of Jesus subverts popular norms of greatness and power. Why does Mark portray Jesus like this? It has something to do with his understanding of God and his understanding of what it means to be human, to be a disciple. The latter could not be clearer, when we read 8:34-37. Losing one’s life is the way to find it! This is not abandonment of self care, but abandonment of preoccupation with building and maintaining a self at the expense of others, disempowering and impoverishing others. William Loader
|I don’t know whether I have become more holy,
I doubt there is
in spite of all my efforts.
|But there are
people on my way
struggling like me and
sharing their inadequacy and their triumphs like me.
Hymn: 583 Take up your cross