Penitence and the Joy of Forgiveness

In my last post I invited ministers and others to get out on the streets this Good Friday and share the Good News that sins can be forgiven. This forgiveness thing , is really causing a lot of heart searching in the congregation of St Andrew's Bo'ness.  R.T. Kendall's book on "Totally Forgiving Ourselves" has caused many people  over this Lenten period to reflect upon the importance of receiving the wonderful gift of "Grace" for themselves. Until we face up to our need to be forgiven, we can never truly understand what Easter is all about, and why Good Friday is so called. However what has amazed me is that people who have professed Christ as Saviour are being re-awakened to ponder the implications of the cross. If I receive forgiveness for myself then I must begin to engage with the long journey to Calvary and in doing so face up to the cost of forgiveness.I'm glad ministers are getting back and making their posts on the blog. I too believe that preaching should accompany the sacrament, but I also believe that the sacrament can be a  converting experience because it points us to and invites us to, handle the cost of our salvation - the broken body and blood of our Lord. Now what I am trying to achieve by taking the bread and the wine to the streets is to cause people to draw breath, to think, what is this? To reach people who have been far away from God and bring them near. Is it a communion service? No its not, its a preparation for them coming to the table some day. Its a reminder that something of  a universal significance happened the day that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, on a rubbish dump, near a busy street, beside a thief and a murderer.  A few years ago when CH4 was being written, there was a shortage of songs on  penitence. Iain Cunningham  told me the committee were looking for material that would address the shortage. Colin Jamieson and I put pen to paper and submitted the following song, but alas it never made the big purple book. This is just a rough mix of the song which will be remixed in our next album. I wanted to put this film up because it is part 2 of  the little film that went up in the previous post.  

Posted By: Roddy   On: 21 Mar 2008   At: 11:09pm

For half-an-hour this afternoon, myself and a couple of colleagues stood at three queens square with bread and wine and offered it to passers by. I doubted anyone would take any, but I was wrong. In the half hour we were there we had more than half-a-dozen of all sorts. A couple were from churches and the rest were complete strangers. Two different folk were guys in late 20s perhaps, one who was with a friend who stopped and got rid of his chewing gum and took bread and wine while his friend looked on a bit skeptical. Another asked if this was catholic as he was wearing a celtic hat. We said it was no ones in particular and so he took both bread and wine. In many ways it was really meaningful to stand there and just call to passers by: “bread and wine for Good Friday?” That’s all we said. And in my opinion it worked. Next year, the same?


Posted By: Fiona Maxwell   On: 17 Mar 2008   At: 6:23pm

Revd Fiona Maxwell

Revd Roddy Hamilton

Revd Gregor McIntyre

Revd Peggy Roberts

will be on the street this Good Friday afternoon


Posted By: Liz   On: 16 Mar 2008   At: 7:50pm

Don’t you think that finding the sacrament on the street is as powerful a sermon as any? Maybe our definition or notion of preaching the word is just too narrow.

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