The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life


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The gift of peace

On 8th April 2018, the second of Easter, Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were Psalm 133, Acts 4:32-35 and John 20:19-31.

There are various occasions in the year when we might receive a gift from friends or family, even from our place of work. Christmas is a big opportunity for gift giving for many, particularly to children. Presents of all shapes and sizes often sparkle under the Christmas tree or bulge in sacks and stockings. Birthdays too provide a similar opportunity for all ages (though the older we get the less we may want to remember our increasing age!). Then there are wedding anniversaries, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, even Grandparents’ Day for those who qualify. At work people may get an annual bonus (particularly those in the banking world it seems) or a gift on retirement. Some may have received Easter eggs in the last couple of weeks. Sometimes we simply get a gift to say ‘Thank you’. Continue reading


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Christ the King

On 20 November we celebrated the feast of Christ the King. Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 46Jeremiah 23:1-6, Colossians 1:11-20Luke 23:33-43.

Today is the last Sunday of the Christian Year when we celebrate Christ the King. Though kings are rare in modern societies, I think we are all familiar with what a king is like. When the people of Israel decided they no longer wanted God to lead them but to have a human king, God warned them what a king would be like. He would recruit their men into the army. Others would work on his land and make weapons for his campaigns. Their women would work in the kitchens. The king would help himself to the best vineyards, fields and olive groves. Of what the people had left, he would charge them taxes on their crops and livestock. The king would help himself to anything that they had and they would be servants to him. Until modern times, and certainly in the time of Jesus, that was the expectation of a king. Rich, powerful, oppressive, demanding, one who was to be served, who had the power to put his subjects to death if he so wished. Continue reading


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Ordinary faith

On 2 October, Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were Psalm 37:1-92 Timothy 1:1-14,  Luke 17:5-10.

Just before I went away for this weekend, a very tall parcel arrived at our house. My husband and I had been told to expect a large gift from our daughter for our wedding anniversary. It proved to be a lovely tree, a rowan, about 2.5 metres tall. We hadn’t time to do more than unpack it and put it in the conservatory before we left on our trip. When we returned it was still standing where we had placed it, as you might expect. The challenge now is to find a place to put it in the garden. One thing I know I will not be able to do is to command the tree to move and plant itself. I have faith but it’s not for doing conjuring tricks with trees or anything else. Continue reading


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Gardening for God

Jesus spoke to people in parables, stories which allowed them to access what they were ready for of his message. Many parables concerned the kingdom of God which Jesus announced as he began his ministry. Jesus had the ability to connect with his audience by using scenes from everyday life that would be familiar. This inevitably involved reference to agriculture as that was a major occupation of many of the population. Two such parables are in the Gospel passage for 17 June. They challenge us to do our part in sowing the Word of God wherever we find ourselves in the world.

The Bible passages of the day were Psalm 92:1-8, 2 Corinthians 5:6-17 and Mark 4:26-34. My reflection from the noon SLT service follows.
According to Mark, when Jesus returned from the wilderness after his temptation his message began with: ‘The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God has come near.’ We know that Jesus did and said many things, too many to fit in a world full of books according to John, but within all those things there is a recurring theme of the kingdom of God.

Talking about kingdoms would not have seemed odd when Jesus was teaching as there were many kings around, each ruling their given area and often going to war in an attempt to seize more land. However, Jesus was not talking about a physical kingdom which covered a certain area of land and had borders, passport control, taxes and so on. The kingdom of God is better thought of as the kingship of God, the rule of God in this world. Continue reading


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Jesus’ all embracing love

The Gospel passage on 1 July looked at two very different people who approached Jesus because they were in desperate need. Many contrasts can be drawn between Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, and a poor woman who had been ill for twelve years but something they had in common was that each gained was an insight into Jesus’ love for all and his willingness to answer needs. Both saw Jesus’ power to restore life when it was ebbing or had ebbed away.

The Bible passages were Psalm 130, Wisdom of Solomon 1:13-15; 2:23-24, Mark 5:21-end. My reflection follows.

 

Today’s Gospel reading introduces us to two very different people who had one thing in common: they were in desperate need, turned to Jesus in their desperation and found that Jesus’ love included them.

The one we meet first is Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue. He would have been a lay person whose role was to look after synagogue administration and supervise the worship. He would have been a man of standing in the community and probably wealthy. The second person is an unnamed woman – a nobody – whose medical condition meant she was shunned by the community and was penniless. I would like to concentrate on the second of these, the woman who was suffering from haemorrhages. Continue reading


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A mother’s faith honoured

The problem of unanswered prayer is one that has caused a lot of people to struggle with faith. It’s hard to see a need, to ask God to help and then to see no change. It’s natural to assume that God is not listening and to lose heart. We only see what is going on from our own limited perspective; we cannot hope to see the big picture as God does. The fact that we are not answered immediately or perhaps apparently not at all, is a huge test of faith but does not necessarily prove that God does not love us or want the best for us. In the story of the Syro-Phonecian woman, Jesus seemed to test her faith before giving her what she asked for.

The reflection from Thursday follows. The readings were 1 Kings 11:4-13, Psalm 106: 3, 35-41, Mark 7:24-30.

I suppose we all have our favourite parts of the Bible, favourite stories or parables, or maybe a much loved psalm. I certainly think if I had to pick out favourites, this story of the Syro-Phoenician woman would be listed there. I’ve got a really soft spot for this mother who lived 2000 years ago. The passage of time does not stop me, as a mother myself, relating to her need and her way of satisfying it.

This story comes at a time when Jesus seemed to skirt around the areas where he was becoming increasingly popular. Mark suggests he was looking for some peace and quiet in the midst of a very busy life of ministry. Continue reading