Anglican Samizdat

April 4, 2010

The Father’s love

Filed under: Easter — David Jenkins @ 12:03 am

When I was very young my father would hold my hand when taking me for a walk. While holding his hand I knew beyond any question that I was safe: there was nothing in the world that could harm me. As I grew older this feeling of security faded, of course, and I even forgot that I had ever experienced it.

When I became a Christian in 1978 and realised that I also had a Father in heaven, my first experience of him brought the forgotten feelings of early childhood security flooding back. It was as if a hand reached from heaven and took mine; once again I knew there was nothing in the world that could harm me.

My father died in 1993. A few months before, I had been visiting my parents and he had told me that he did not know what would happen to him when he died. He knew I was a Christian and I had talked to him about my faith, but I was still looking for a chance to talk to him some more; my mouth opened but nothing came out – he walked out of the room with me still poised to say something. Later, when I received the phone call that he had had a heart attack, I was furious at myself for missing the opportunity I had prayed for. He spent a week in a coma and it seemed unlikely he would recover, so I returned to the UK to be with him.

I arrived at the hospital with my mother at about 5:00 pm. The nurses told me that even though he was in a coma, I should try to speak to him, so I started reading to him from the Psalms. At round 5:30 I read John 3:16  – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life – and said “Dad, Jesus died for you, all you have to do is accept his free gift of salvation”. He took one more breath and died.

Although I felt waves of grief, underneath the grief was the same security I felt when, as a child, I held his hand; I knew that he was with Jesus and that I would see him again.

I believe my father’s love for me was so strong that, even though in a coma, he managed to hold on to life for a week until I arrived because he wanted me to know that he had eternal life: he didn’t want me to worry about him.

My Father’s love for me was so strong that he gave his only Son so that I would not have to die and face the consequences of my sin. Neither would my father.


He is Risen!

Filed under: Easter — David Jenkins @ 12:01 am

April 1, 2010

Fred Hiltz and his stories

Filed under: Fred Hiltz — David Jenkins @ 12:27 pm
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Primate Fred’s Easter message:

“Christ is Risen, Christ is Risen; Tell it with a joyful voice”

Having made our journey through Holy Week, commemorating the events of the Lord’s passion, death and burial we come now to Easter and the joy of His Glorious Resurrection.

Sunday by Sunday throughout the great festival of Easter, we take delight in hearing those stories of how the risen Lord appeared to so many — greeting and calling them by name, opening the scriptures and teaching them, breaking bread in their midst, bestowing his peace, breathing the Holy Spirit into their hearts and then sending them into all the world.  Alongside these wonderful stories are accounts of the earliest Christian preaching recorded in The Acts of the Apostles.

The important thing about Easter is that these were events not stories: they actually happened,  they have objective reality. At Easter, Christians delight in the fact that Jesus rose physically from the dead, not in hearing those stories. I’m sure Fred realises this – maybe.

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