St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church Canon Claude Schroeder
Today on this 50th day after Easter, the Church celebrates the wonderful and joyful Feast of Pentecost, although it is for us a slightly bittersweet occasion, given the fact that we are not able to physically celebrate together. That is the bitter part. What is the sweet part? The sweet part is that “God has shed His love abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit is that He has given us.” (Romans 5.5.) It is the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts that causes us to cry out to God, “Abba, Father! So that you are not longer a slave- (to sin and the fear of death), but a child, a child of God, if a child then also an heir.” (Galatians 4,6,7) And so, wherever we are this morning, in this we rejoice, and in this we celebrate.
Jesus Christ, the King of Glory, has ascended today into the heavens. He sits at the right hand of the Father and rules heaven and earth.
Now all the psalms of David, our father, are fulfilled. Now the Lord sits with the Lord on the seat of God.
In this greatest of triumphs let us bless the Lord. The Holy Trinity be glorified. Let us give thanks to God.
That’s the English translation of a 12th century Ascension hymn called “Coelos ascendit hodie”. “Now all the psalms of David our father are fulfilled.” I love that line!
Ascension Day, the fortieth day after Easter was this past Thursday. It was lovely to celebrate the feast together, and to see Claude and Nathaniel and Gene, even if only by video. And while I will not be quoting from Led Zeppelin, we do continue on in the same vein today with our scripture readings and our celebration of the ascension of Jesus. These final ten days of the Easter season, between Ascension and Pentecost, really are worthy of the joyful attention of all Christians.
St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Regina, Fifth Sunday after Easter, May 17, 2020. Canon Claude Schroeder
Well, it’s a been a most unusual Easter season, where in the midst of a global pandemic, for the last six Sundays the Church has been celebrating the joy of the Resurrection, the appearances of the Risen Lord to his first disciples, and His being among us still. This Thursday, being the 40th day after Easter, we will celebrate the Ascension of the Lord, which begins a 10 day period of prayerful waiting and anticipation of the celebration of Pentecost, and the fulfilment of Jesus’ promise in the sending of the Holy Spirit.
So liturgically we are approaching a bit of a turning point, and this is reflected in our Scripture readings for today.
St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Fourth Sunday after Easter, May 10, 2020 Canon Claude Schroeder.
At the time of his death in 1984, the distinguished biblical scholar, G.B. Caird, who earlier in his career, taught at both in Edmonton and Montreal, occupied the Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture at the University of Oxford. According to Bishop Tom Wright, a former student of his, “Caird loved words, and how human beings enjoyed using and abusing them. He insisted that both the Old Testament and New Testament be permitted to speak with their own voices and that modern ideas, presuppositions, and biases not be allowed to get in the way.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G._B._Caird)
I’ve been reading and hearing a lot this week about the type of leadership the world is experiencing during this pandemic. And it’s really as you might expect: some leaders are doing a really great job. And some leaders are suggesting we inject ourselves with bleach. So, you know. There’s a range out there.
I wonder if any of you have heard the quote from Silveria Jacobs, the prime minister of Sint Maarten that’s been making the rounds of the internet lately? She sounded like every mom ever, and it was just so comforting in its familiarity. “Stop moving,” she said. “Simply: stop. moving. If you do not have the type of bread you like in your house, eat crackers.”
St. Mary’s Anglican Church, April 26, 2020. Easter 2. Canon Claude Schroeder. Sermon on Luke 24.13-35
In today’s Gospel lesson from the 24th chapter of St. Luke, who in his Gospel had a very keen eye for historical detail, furnishes us with some very important details with respect to the time and the place of the story he is going to tell. He writes, “on that same day, two of them, were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and were talking about all these things that had happened…”
Today we are continuing our celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Easter, in the Church calendar, is not a day, it is a season that lasts 50 days. Easter is for us a season of joy, of spiritual joy, in the restoration of our Communion with God through the forgiveness of our sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is eternal life. Easter is the celebration of the victory that Christ has won for us over Satan, sin, and death.
St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Canon Claude Schroeder
Well, let me begin this morning wishing you all a very Happy Easter, in fact the very happiest of Easters!
Given the current circumstances, that probably comes across as something of a provocation. I mean, how can I wish you a happy Easter when all the things that we associate with the celebration of Easter, Easter flower arrangements and Easter music, a sense of new life associated with the coming to life of the earth again at springtime, Easter brunch with family and friends, and the delight and joy of children hunting for Easter eggs, has been taken from us? And we find ourselves plunged into this nightmare of a pandemic that has enshrounded the world in blanket of sickness, death, fear and anxiety and that has left many of us wondering, if, how, and when we are ever going to recover from this?
Jesus knew that his time had come. John tells us that in the very first verse of our Gospel passage this evening. The hour had come for him to depart out of this world and to return to the Father. Knowing that, Jesus continued to love his own who were in the world, and to love them to the end. He still does. Endlessly. It’s the John 3.16 kind of love—much more than just warm fuzzies—like the fierce love of a mother or father—“a love that needs no love in return, that is is intelligent and purposeful, always directed to the need of the other.” Love that is imperative. Like the Maundy in Maundy Thursday. Maundy comes from the Latin, mandatum, meaning commandment as in the gospel reading