The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life

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Recession proof living

A year on from some of the most high profile effects of the worldwide recession, we can look back at so many facts and figures which show what happened and what is continuing to happen as governments work to find a way out of recession as quickly as possible. Some of the figures make sobering reading due to the human cost they point to.

In the midst of great challenges, it’s all too easy to despair. Jesus pointed out that we think in a human way, not as God does. If we saw circumstances but also remembered that God is there for us, we would cope better with what life throws at us.

The readings at the noon SLT service were Psalm 116:1-8, Proverbs 1:20-33, Mark 8:27-end. The reflection follows:

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Who do you say that I am?

The theme of my Message today is: Who do you say that I am?
In Mark’s gospel Jesus begins to reveal his true identity to the disciples.
We can see how Jesus uses his time to teach the disciples as travels with them from Bethsaida to Caesarea Philippi.
Time is spent reflecting on the previous events and the disciples’ experiences.
Rather than starting with a direct question Jesus begins by asking what the disciples have heard being said of him by the crowds.
Clearly the answer is very significant to the ministry of Jesus: John the Baptist, Elijah or one of the prophets?
The expectations of the people are reflected in these statements.
They are seeing in Jesus the work and hand of God being revealed.
Jesus then asks the disciples to reflect on their own understanding in light of the statements of the crowds and of their own experiences. The direct question comes: Who do you say that I am?
Peter answers for them all: “You are the messiah!”
And Jesus begins to teach them, showing them a deeper understanding again.

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The uniform of love

Uniforms are worn for many reasons but often it is to identify someone as belonging to a particular organisation. The uniform can then set expectations for other people who will anticipate certain kinds of behaviour from the person in the uniform. As Christians, we are to wear the uniform of love and our behaviour should match the standards of the organisation to which we belong. That organisation is God’s family and the ethos of the family is set by its head who IS Love.

The readings at the 2pm SLT service on Thursday were Psalm 149:1-7, Colossians 3:12-17, Luke 6:27-38. The reflection follows:

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Even the Dogs Deserve Bread!

Today’s Gospel story can be a little perplexing, particularly with the interaction between Jesus and the SyroPhoenician woman. Jesus appears to speak in an uncharacteristically harsh manner to this stranger in the middle of Jewish Israel.

We have seen in the past where Jairus approached Jesus in the crowd, how Jesus spoke to encourage him, and strengthen his faith as they made that journey from death to life. In this setting, in a home away from the crowds, Jesus takes no such steps. He initially refuses her request and instead challenges her right to even ask from him.

Jesus is tired, and needs refreshment himself. We have already encountered this. The Gospels have all recorded how he withdraws frequently to the mountains, away from people, to seek his Father. This encounter is very different. It is a glimpse into the human side of Jesus that we do not often see.

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The birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary

On 8th September the Church in both East and West remembers the birth of Mary, mother of Jesus. It may seem to be a strange event to commemorate but this birth marks the boundary between the time when people lived under the Law and the time when they live under Grace. From trying to earn favour with God we have moved to a situation where we are freely given what we cannot earn. This is surely worth a celebration!

The readings were Psalm 45:10-17 and Luke 1:26-37. The reflection given at the 2pm SLT service follows:

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Who wants to be a Millionaire?

If you want the right answer to a question, you ask someone who is an authority on the subject. I know that I have various friends who are really knowledgeable about some topics and I would most definitely turn to them if I was unsure what the answer was. This is what contestants are able to do when playing ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire?’. The help of a friend might allow them to win a big cash prize so it’s well worth seeking out.

When it comes to the life of faith, Jesus is THE authority on it. He taught with authority, he acted with authority and he can help us in the perplexities of life if we just phone him by praying.

At the 2pm SLT service on Tuesday the readings were Psalm 27:1-8, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11, Luke 4:31-37. The reflection follows:

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