Two Covenants: one Heir so that all may inherit

I was encouraged by these words this morning.

Andreas Loewe

A sermon preached by the Dean of Melbourne, the Very Revd Dr Andreas Loewe, on the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, 20 July 2014:

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This morning’s lessons (Genesis 28.10-22, Romans 8.12-25) tell us that God longs to live in communion with the human race, and that he invites us into covenant—a binding relationship—with him. They show the transformational power of God at work in the lives of Jacob, a fraudster turned patriarch, and Paul, a murderer turned apostle. And, in turn, they invite us to let our lives be transformed like the patriarchs and apostles of old, by entering into God’s service ourselves: the service that alone is perfect freedom.

In our first lesson, we meet Jacob in the Samarian highlands, on his way to Haran. The future patriarch of Israel had been hurriedly sent away by his mother, Rebecca, who had just helped Jacob to deceive his…

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Church of England and Woman Bishops: Timely Posts

There have, of course, been voices bemoaning the Church of England’s decision to allow woman bishops. As I said in my last post, there is still agonising and deep angst on this topic (and many others) in some circles. These two recent posts from Tim Harris, assistant bishop in the Diocese of Adelaide, are timely:

Church of England Offers Women More Opportunities for Servanthood

Worthwhile reflection on the recent decision by the Church of England to allow woman bishops. A conclusive result for them. For many, agonising and deep angst over this and other divisive issues continues. I pray there will be an end, and we can get on with the real work of the gospel. Christ have mercy on us.

God and Politics in the UK

Women Bishops VoteThe history of the role and definition of bishops is a long and often turbulent one. From the beginning, Paul in his letters to the churches set high standards for his leaders:

‘Since an overseer [bishop] manages God’s household, he must be blameless – not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.’ (Titus 1:7-9)

Interestingly though, when Paul talks about the order of positions within the Church in his letter to the Corinthians, he places apostles first, prophets second and teachers third. This was all about mission as the Gospel spread rapidly throughout the Roman empire.

During the life of Paul and…

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